First time after becoming the BSP chief, Mayawati campaigned for her bete noire and SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav at his home constituency, Mainpuri. Asking people to be careful of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who according to her is a “fake backward person,”, she urged the people to elect Yadav, who is a “real and genuine” leader of the backward classes of people.

Last time Mayawati attended a joint-election rally with Mulayam Singh Yadav was in early 1990s, when both the parties were in an alliance against the BJP. Kanshi Ram was the BSP leader and old-timers remember that Mayawati was also on the stage as the second in-command of the party during the election rallies in Etawah. Kanshi Ram represented Etawah in 11 Lok Sabha with the support of Yadav.

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The crowd that gathered at the rally was mostly from Dalit, OBC and minority social backgrounds. “Isn’t this historic? We have heard a lot of stories about the enmity between the two leaders. But now both are together and trying to defeat the BJP,” said Ajay, a graduate student, and a supporter of the BSP.

For the SP, through the rally, it could consolidate the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav and could give a warning to the rebels such as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother and former minister Shivpal Yadav. The party hopes that whatever differences left among the workers will be resolved after Friday’s rally. The BSP has over 1.5 lakh votes in the constituency. By combining Dalit, Yadav and minority votes, the alliance is hoping to get a record margin for the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.

Whenever Mulayam Singh Yadav mentioned Mayawati’s name in his brief speech, the crowd replied with thunderous applause. A similar response was given to Mayawati too when she praised the Yadav patriarch and his son and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in her speech. Both Mulayam and Akhilesh thanked Mayawati for attending the rally.

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Mayawati promised the crowd that she will serve the people of Mainpuri if they elect Mulayam with a record margin. She said Modi is a “fake backward class” person. “Mulayam Singh Yadav is a genuine and original leader of backward communities. He is not like Modi,” Mayawati said. She added that as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Modi used power to convert his upper caste tag into backward class. “He used this claim to win elections in 2014. After coming into power, he played with the lives of backward and Dalit people. Vacancies deserved for SC, ST and OBCs were not filled by this government. People will have to identify fake leaders and should be careful against them,” Mayawati said urged the voters of Mainpuri to elect their real leader. She said the BJP is communal and is controlled by RSS and corporates. “People will throw them out of power,” she added and claimed that the first two phases will be proved disastrous for the BJP.

Mulayam also minced now words against the BJP. He said attacks against women, Dalits and minorities have increased and poor people are in distress. “I will never forget Mayawati’s help in this election,” he added.

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Mayawati said Modi is trying to divert attention of people from the promises they had made in 2014. She said the Congress is also coming up with such false promises. “They (the Congress) were in power for long years after independence. Now, the Congress is trying to garner poor people’s votes by offering some financial help. But this is not going to help poor. When we form a government we will ensure government jobs to people from poor background,” she said.

Akhilesh Yadav said the last five years have been very bad for farmers. Unemployment has risen under the Modi government, he claimed.

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