In J&K, Maya To Play Upper Caste Card
18 November 2007
The Indian Express
Jammu: In a move that may lead to fresh realignment among political parties ahead of the Assembly elections in Jammu & Kashmir, BSP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Sunday called upon her party workers to bring upper castes into the party fold to help them capture power in the state and Centre. 'Our party was never against the upper castes. Once I had even asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make provisions for the reservation of upper castes and religious minorities,' she said while referring to the BSP's stand in favour of reservation for upper castes on the basis of economic criteria. Speaking at a rally in Parade Ground, She said, 'I had taken up the issue with Atal Behari Vajpayee as well. However, none of them gave a positive response.' The rally assumed significance in view of the presence of Gujjars and members of upper castes on the occasion. Around 20,000 people, including women, waited for nearly three hours for the BSP leader. Repeatedly emphasising the need to seek the support of upper caste and religious minorities, Mayawati said, 'Without them our dream of social engineering cannot become a reality.'