PUBLISHED ON: March 3, 2022 | Duration: 6 min, 03 sec
Dismissing any possibility of no party getting a clear majority in the ongoing Uttar Pradesh elections, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati told NDTV, "I'm telling you, the BSP will get an absolute majority. You may ask me this question again once the results are out".
Here's the full transcript of Mayawati's interaction with NDTV:
Ruchir Sharma: When we had covered the 2007 elections, you had asked us to come visit you in Lucknow. None of us came then. What do you think will happen this time?
Mayawati: This time, in all my travels and meetings throughout UP, we have seen a great deal of enthusiasm amongst people. We have seen very good crowds at all our meetings. Often the crowds have to be lured to meetings. Candidates from other parties will use all their resources to draw crowds. But our supporters turn up in huge numbers when they come to know that behenji is going to be at the meeting. This is the kind of zeal and enthusiasm we have seen.
When I visited western UP, during the first and second phase, it was very cold. It was raining heavily too. In fact, I was asked to postpone my trip to Amroha so as not to fall ill in that cold. But I said no, the weather might be bad on the day of polling too, how do we expect people go to vote in that weather? Even though the weather was bad, I went. People were very enthusiastic and charged. Western UP, Purvanchal, Awadh, Bundelkhand, we had a very good turnout of supporters.
You can understand by the enthusiasm and energy of the people that they want change. People are very upset by the policies of the current BJP government. They make big promises, but you need to see the results on the ground as well.
Mayawati: Can you see the results on the ground? We had a Samajwadi Party government earlier. All the work they did was inspired by a desire for revenge. All the decisions and policies made by the BSP government, for the weaker sections, the poor people of the upper castes, the unemployed, all of them were reversed, or changed, one by one. The BJP is doing the same. We thought the BJP might bring back some of the policies that were reversed by the SP, but they haven't even done that.
Prannoy Roy: The crowd is so energetic, it's such a huge crowd. But people say you haven't campaigned as extensively this time. Is that true? Have you reduced your campaigning this time?
Mayawati: I have my own way of doing things. When I did my first programme in Agra, I told the whole country that I do not imitate other parties. I don't do road shows, nor door-to-door canvassing in smaller neighbourhoods. Our way of doing this is different.
Kanshi Ram ji taught us how to follow a cadre system. So, we don't need to imitate what others do. In fact, other parties have started copying us. So, we have our own way of doing this. I have worked through the whole year. I only took two days off work when my mother died. Other than that, I was in Lucknow through the year, and I have worked hard. I have connected with our party workers on the ground, and this time I have selected candidates with the larger community in mind, only those who will work for the people after they have been elected. I have taken an interest in all these matters. I have conducted multiple smaller meetings through the year. I have had meetings in my office. I turned my home into an office. So, I have had many smaller meetings with our party workers.
On 9th October, almost 5-6 lakh people had gathered for the remembrance day of Kanshi Ram ji. But people don't see those crowds.
Prannoy Roy: One more thing, people have been saying there some sort of alignment between you and the BJP.
Mayawati: This is being said by those who oppose us, by our opponents, especially the Samajwadi Party. The SP is in bad shape. In my travels across UP, especially western UP, there are some areas with a predominantly Muslim population. Even where they could have, they didn't give tickets to Muslim candidates. This has upset them greatly. But our candidates were selected, with every section of society in mind. No other party has given as many tickets to candidates from the backward castes as we have. We have given several tickets to upper caste candidates, and we also given tickets to Muslims for their appropriate representation. We have given Dalit candidates tickets not just for the reserved seats, but we also have Dalit candidates in a few of the general seats. We have taken all sections of society into account.
Shekhar Gupta: There is an impression that you are not being vocal against the BJP. Against Modi, against the BJP, against Yogi Adityanath.
Mayawati: I talk about the policies of my party. I never launch personal attacks on anyone, whether it is the Congress or the SP.
Shekhar Gupta: I meant, about their ideology.
Mayawati: I have just said so much. Is it not enough that I have spoken about how the bulldozer never works against non-Muslims and the mafia?
Manish Kumar: If, for some reason, no party gets a clear majority...
Mayawati: I'm telling you, the BSP will get an absolute majority. You may ask me this question again once the results are out.
Shekhar Gupta: Who is worse? The BJP or the SP?
Mayawati: Both parties are like two sides of the same coin.