LUCKNOW: BSP chief Mayawati on Friday blamed the "casteist media" for driving away Muslims from her Bahujan Samaj Party and said the fear of a 'jungle raj' if the Samajwadi Party came to power made its other supporters shift to the BJP.
Plummeting to its lowest ever tally of winning only one seat in the current Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Mayawati said it was the media's aggressive propaganda showing the BSP as the "B team of the BJP" that drove away Muslims and anti-BJP voters from it.
"This decision by the Muslims harmed the BSP because the party's supporters among the upper castes, backwards and other communities were made to fear that the 'jungle raj' will return to UP again if the SP is elected to power. That is why these communities went to the BJP," Mayawati said.
"Lies like the BSP contesting elections not as strongly as the SP were also spread. This was widely publicized, while the truth is contrary because the BSP's fight with the BJP is political as well as ideological," she added, adding this also took away the anti-BJP Hindu votes, too, from her party.
She also said that the Muslim community has made a "mistake" by trusting the SP instead of the "time-tested" BSP. The Mayawati-led party had contested all the 403 seats on its own but managed to win just one -- Rasra in Maharajganj.
"Had there been a triangular contest in Uttar Pradesh then the results would have been as per the expectations of BSP. Then BJP could have been stopped from coming to power. In all, the Muslim community was with BSP but its vote went to SP," she said.
Mayawati urged the leaders and workers of her party not to get bogged down with the results, but to learnt from the defeat and take the party forward. The BSP had fielded 97 Muslim nominees in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls while the SP had fielded 64 candidates from the minority community.
Thirty six of the 36 winning Muslim candidates are from the Akhilesh Yadav-led party. In addition to jailed Azam Khan, his son Abdullah Azam and Nahid Hasan from Kairana won on SP tickets. Muslims constitute around 20 per cent of the population in Uttar Pradesh.