Congress, BJP's quota politics drove Muslims to SP: Mayawati

Crushed by a unanimous mandate against her, BSP leader Mayawati resigned today as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, and said the politics of quota had guided the Muslims towards the Samajwadi Party.

In a rare exchange with the media – she has not taken questions in the last five years – Mayawati conceded that two vote chunks had unhinjed from her rainbow coalition these elections, which boosted Mulayam Singh's numbers.

Maya blamed the Congress and the BJP for raising the minority sub-quota issue mid-way during the Uttar Pradesh polls for their political gains. "You all know the Congress raised the issue of reservation for backward Muslims for their political gains soon after the Vidhan Sabha elections were declared and this was opposed strongly by the BJP," Mayawati said.

She alleged the BJP also tried to attract the upper castes and the OBCs towards them for electoral benefits.

"Due to this, there was a fear in the Muslim community that the BJP may come to power. Finding the Congress weak and thinking the OBCs and upper castes would vote for the BJP, Muslims voted not for the Congress but the SP," Mayawati claimed.

She said there were apprehensions among Muslims that the upper castes and OBCs would not vote for the BSP and, hence, they voted for the SP.

Except the Dalits, the Hindu votes – particularly those of upper castes – got divided among many parties and the SP gained from this, she said.

"70 per cent of the Muslim votes were transferred to the SP," Mayawati said.

Mayawati claimed the Dalit vote did not get divided and remained with the BSP.

"All across the state, Dalits have voted for the BSP. This is the reason the BSP is number 2. Otherwise, it would have been left far behind... My position would have been like that of Lalu (Prasad) in Bihar," she said.

Maya also slammed the media for 'overplaying' the issue of 'quota politics', which she believes weakened her party's chances.

''UP was in bad shape when I took over. I fear the SP will put my welfare programmes in deep freeze. The party will take the state backwards now,'' Mayawati said. ''Uttar Pradesh will be disgusted with the party soon. Their excesses started yesterday,'' she added, referring to the attacks on journalists by SP men and the death of a young boy in celebratory firing.

Enumerating the various welfare schemes of her government, she alleged the Centre's attitude towards the state during her rule was negative. Mayawati indicated she would work towards reviving her party in the coming days.

"Our party will revive its cadre and work on taking the state out of the Hindu-Muslim mindset," she said, adding the BSP would also woo other communities into the party's fold.

Earlier in the day, Maya handed her resignation to Governor B L Joshi and recommended the Assembly be dissolved.

Mayawati's BSP had got a thumping 206 seats last polls, but has now shrunk to just 80.

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