LUCKNOW: Tragedy struck a huge BSP rally here on Sunday when two aged women were killed and more than a dozen others injured during a stampede, police said.The incident happened when a large group was trying to force its entry from gate number 1 at the Kanshiram Smarak Sthal, the rally venue.
The two women fell down in the melee and got crushed by others. The injured were taken to the Lokbandhu Hospital where the condition of one person was said to be critical. Thousands gathered at the venue to attend the rally to mark the 10th death anniversary of Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram.
A police officer blamed overcrowding for the tragedy. Alleging that minorities were facing bias under Modi government, BSP Chief Mayawati today cautioned Muslims that voting for Samajwadi Party or Congress will only help BJP and sought their support "to stop" the saffron party. Muslims should not waste their vote as there is infighting in Samajwadi Party and Congress lacks a voter base in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati said.
"Ever since the BJP government has come at the Centre, Muslims and other minorities are being subjected to bias. The minority status of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia is being snatched away. "Communal forces are becoming stronger and Muslims are being targeted in the name of love jihad, 'gau raksha' (cow protection) and religious conversion," the BSP supremo alleged launching a scathing attack on the Modi government. Mayawati also made it clear that her party will go alone in the three states going to polls early next year-- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab, and cautioned the people against any canard that BSP might enter into an understanding for forming as government with the BJP in case it fell short of majority.
She said there was no truth in these rumours which were being spread to divide Muslim votes and asserted that such a situation will not arise. Coming down heavily on the ruling Samajwadi Party, Mayawati said because of "rampant crime and anarchy" incidents such as Muzaffarnagar, Dadri, Mathura and Bulandshahr have occurred and promised to restore rule of law in Uttar Pradesh.
"There is a tussle for supremacy going on in the SP between Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav and brother Shivpal Singh Yadav and its result will be that the Yadav vote will split as each will try to ensure the defeat of candidates owing allegiance to the other," Mayawati said. "In such circumstances Muslims should not waste their ballot by voting for them or else it will help the BJP.... Similarly Congress does not have a vote base and voting for it will also benefit BJP," Mayawati said.
"To stop the BJP, the vote should not go to either the Samajwadi Party or the Congress as with every Assembly seat having 22 to 23 per cent dalit votes, BSP can sail through with the help of Muslim votes or else the same scenario can emerge that was seen in 2014," she stressed.
Mayawati, who had faced criticism for spending hundreds of crores of rupees in setting up memorials of herself, Kanshi Ram and B R Ambedkar, said her party will not construct any more memorials.
(With inputs from PTI)