The JD(S), which is making a desperate bid to return to power in the state, on Saturday used its ‘gathbandhan’ with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), to display its show of strength, by far the party’s biggest till date.
The JD(S) leadership juxtaposed its ‘marriage of convenience’ with the BSP to make an emotional appeal to the ‘Bahujans’ to counter Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s Ahinda politics, and the BJP’s Hindutva agenda. Lakhs of JD(S) workers and loyalists who travelled from across the state to Yelahanka in Bengaluru to see their ‘Appaji’ H D Deve Gowda and ‘Anna’, H D Kumaraswamy up close, also heard ‘Behanji’ BSP chief Mayawati tear into the two national parties.
Mayawati, who attacked the Congress for its “betrayal” of
B R Ambedkar, the Dalits, backward classes and the minorities, appealed to the people to “teach” the grand old party a lesson by not voting it back to power. Recalling how the Congress had “purposefully” ensured Ambedkar’s defeat in two Lok Sabha polls, she said party had failed to honour him with the Bharat Ratna.
The Congress had also failed to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations, she said, adding that the BSP’s demands of the above had finally been fulfilled during the V P Singh government, which was forced to seek her party’s support.
Mayawati said that though the Congress had many tricks up its sleeve to attract the “suppressed” communities in Karnataka, it had broken its faith in the people when it failed to honour its commitment of making a Dalit leader the chief minister in the state.
The BJP on the other hand, which, she said indulged in caste and religious politics, had created an atmosphere of fear, especially among the Dalits and minorities.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the BJP at that Centre had let down the poor, farmers and the small traders through its “unplanned” implementation of demonetisation and GST.
“Not only did Prime Minister Narendra Modi fail to bring back the black money stashed abroad, he is also humiliating the unemployed and the poor by asking them to sell pakoras. People of Karnataka should ensure that they prevent both these parties from coming to power,” she added.
Deve Gowda who thanked Mayawati for her “golden words”, said that the JD(S) had received an elephantine strength (aane bala) from the BSP to fight the upcoming Assembly elections.
Gowda directed his party workers to pu up Mayawati’s posters in all constituencies alongside Kumaraswamy’s. “We should also lend support to the 20 BSP candidates ensuring their victory – this is our ghatabhandhan,” he added.
In a near 20-minute emotional address to the gathering, Kumaraswamy said that he was working day and night without paying heed to his health to ensure his party’s victory.