UP polls 2022: Mayawati says no more monuments, focus on ‘changing face of UP’; Owaisi promises ‘Muslim leadership’

Meanwhile, jailed gangster and former MP Atiq Ahmad and his wife on Tuesday joined AIMIM in presence of its chief Asaduddin Owaisi, drawing a sharp reaction from the BJP.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi Tuesday kickstarted his party’s campaign for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections from Ayodhya district, saying his party’s aim is to establish a political leadership that represents Muslim interests too in the state, news agency ANI reported.

Addressing a poll rally, Owaisi said the AIMIM will fight the polls with full strength and that his party has strengthened its roots here in the past five years.

He further said the Muslim community has not had a political leadership or voice in Uttar Pradesh so far.

Owaisi’s AIMIM is set to contest 100 out of the total 403 assembly seats in the politically crucial Hindi heartland state.

On a possible alliance with Samajwadi Party, Owaisi said if Akhilesh Yadav is ready to talk, he will engage in the conversation. “But if you think you will behave with me the way you behave with some Muslims in your party, then I would prefer to die,” he cautioned.

Later, addressing a press conference in Lucknow, the AIMIM chief said the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh will win the elections. Owaisi also asserted that his party’s objective is to defeat the BJP.

The AIMIM leader targeted the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Aadmi Party, saying they did not want anyone from the Muslim community to emerge as a leader.

“Muslims used to do ‘gulami’ (slavery) of Samajwadi Party and BSP and raise slogans in their favour and make their government. But when it came to giving Muslims participation, these parties said nothing,” he said.

Meanwhile, jailed gangster and former MP Atiq Ahmad and his wife on Tuesday joined AIMIM in presence of Owaisi, drawing a sharp reaction from the BJP, which said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will not allow “Jinnah’s jehadi mentality” to flourish in Uttar Pradesh.

Defending his decision to induct Ahmad, who has several criminal cases lodged against him, Owaisi said many BJP leaders, too, are facing cases.

On giving tickets to Hindus, Owiasi said, “The OBCs are our brothers, we will give tickets to Dalits also and they will win.”

Mayawati calls for Dalit-Brahmin unity

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Tuesday, while giving a call for forging ‘Dalit-Brahmin’ unity to bring her party back to power in the state, accused the BJP and the SP of making tall claims but doing nothing on the ground.

Addressing a ‘Prabudh Varga Sammelan’ at the end of the party’s month-long programme to reach out to Brahmins across the state, Mayawati said both the BJP and the SP indulged in empty talks to win the votes of Dalits and Brahmins, but neither safeguarded their interests when in power.

The BSP chief also took potshots at the Congress for communal riots in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar when it was in power at the Centre and blamed the party for not giving protection to the minorities.

Further, extending her support to the farmers’ protests against the farm laws, Mayawati announced that if her party comes to power, the three controversial laws will not be implemented in the state.

The BSP chief also said that her government will not spend its efforts on building memorials and erecting statues if it comes to power, but will focus on “changing the face of Uttar Pradesh”.

She said the four BSPs governments in the past have honoured leaders who worked for equality through memorials, museums and statues and now there was no need for constructing more. “Whatever needed to be done, I have done it in bulk,” she said. She, however, added that her government will be open to erecting memorials to honour leaders from “other communities” and keep their religious sentiments in mind.

The BSP has said that it will fight the elections in Uttar Pradesh on its own.

With PTI inputs

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