Maya promises SC status to 16 more castes

April 21, 2009: The Indian Express

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday gave a push to her prime ministerial aspirations, promising Scheduled Caste status to 16 more castes if she came to power at the Centre.

“I had sent a proposal for 16 castes to be included in the list of SCs, but the Congress-led government did not consider it. If I come to power, I would accord these castes the status of Scheduled Caste,¶ she said at an election rally here.

The castes included Vishwakarma, Nai, Prajapati, Dhobi, Bind, Nishad, Kashyap, Turaha, Gaur Kori, Manjhi, Bari, Rajbhar, Lonia Kahar and Godh. Samajwadi Party had also raised this issue when it was in power in the state.

Mayawati, whose BSP is a part of the Third Front also consisting the Left parties, had earlier also let known her PM aspirations, saying her party wanted to see as her taking the top post. The BSP chief also slammed the Congress at the rally. Targeting Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati said, “Garibo ke ghar khana khane ya unke dhool se sane bachchon ko godh mein lene se garibi door nahi hogi (Sharing the poor’s food or taking playing with their children, you can’t remove poverty).¶

Blaming the Congress and the BJP for all ills, she accused them of weakening the policy of reservation that had been written into the Constitution by B R Ambedkar. Alleging that there had been hardly any change in the social and economic condition of SC/STs, backwards and minorities during the Congress and BJP tenures, she said it was because of this that she was urging the electorate to bring the BSP to power at the Centre.

Mayawati said her government was committed to maintaining law and order and had not spared her own MLAs and MPs when they tried to take the law into their hands.

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