UP Elections 2017: Only BSP can defeat SP and BJP, Mayawati Tells voters

 Elections are due in western Uttar Pradesh in the first phase on February 11 and all the key parties have scheduled political rallies there over the next few days. Today it was the turn of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, who officially launched her campaign with a no-holds barred attack on the Samajwadi Party-Congress combine and the BJP.  At a massive rally on the outskirts of Meerut attended by nearly 40,000 people, Ms Mayawati told voters that the BSP would reign in lawlessness and stop the communal agenda of the BJP.

Eager to capture the Muslim vote and cut into the votes of the Samajwadi Party, the BSP has fielded a record 97 Muslim candidates in the assembly elections.

Meerut and neighboring Muzaffarnagar has a sizable Muslim population and many of the families had made the trip to hear Ms Mayawati.

To her audience, Ms Mayawati said, "Mulayam Singh was forced to see his brother Shivpal Yadav being humiliated. Now Shivpal will work hard to defeat his own party. Why waste your vote on them?"

Along with other opposition parties, the BSP chief too, had opposed the tabling of the Union budget today. Last night senior lawmaker E Ahamed died after suffering a cardiac arrest and the opposition wanted the budget presentation deferred and the house adjourned.

"Don't be misled by promises to attract voters in the budget as these were only false promises... if voters vote BJP, the state will see more incidents like Muzaffarnagar and the Dadri lynching," Ms Mayawati said.