| Mayavati: Trouble ahead
Lucknow, April 5: Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party is ready to come out with part two of the Mayavati tapes next week, just before the Uttar Pradesh chief minister holds her “pardafaash” rally on April 14 to “expose” him.
The videotapes allegedly show Mayavati berating Hindu deities, including Ram, while exhorting BSP activists to mobilise more funds for the party. The Samajwadi Party has made several copies of the videotape of Mayavati’s address to party workers of eastern Uttar Pradesh in February 2001 for mass circulation.
“The first part of the tapes, released earlier, showed Mayavati exhorting MPs and MLAs to divert funds from their constituency development funds. The second part will expose how she treats Ram and other Hindu deities worshipped by followers of her ally, (the) BJP,” a Samajwadi Party leader said.
Preview compact discs made available to some journalists show Mayavati asking BSP supporters to shun Hindu religious practices and donate to the party instead of “squandering money” on rituals and worship of Hindu deities.
The first part of the Mayavati tapes released last month had triggered a furore in Parliament and the Assembly. The target audience of the second part is the BJP’s Hindu vote bank.
In the second CD — a copy of which was made available to The Telegraph — Mayavati emphasises the importance of money in running the party and the movement and reminds supporters of B.R Ambedkar’s dictum — “Political power is the only key which can open doors for the progress of Dalits”.
“Party ko har saal 3.5 crore rupaye ki zaroorat hoti hai movement chalane ke liye. Yeh paisa apko ikattha karna hai (The party needs Rs 3.5 crore every year to run the movement. You have to raise this money),” the tapes show her saying.
What could embarrass the BJP is Mayavati’s formula for collecting funds by BSP functionaries not holding an elected office — abjure Ram and other Hindu deities. “Patthar ki devi ko charawa aata hain jise baad me kutta kha jata hain. Jo devta kutte se apni raksha nahin kar sakta, woh tumhara bhagya kya badlega (Stray dogs lap up the offerings made by the devout to stone idols. How can the deity that is so defenceless against even stray dogs change your fortune)'” she asks.
Ram, the BJP’s icon, also comes in for a bit of tongue-lashing, if the CDs are to be believed. “Ek nishad ne Ram ki nav par lageyi thi. Par kya Ram ne kisi nishad ki naiyya par lagayi (A nishad (fisherman) had ferried Ram across the river. But has Ram every ever helped a fisherman cross the river of life)'” she is heard taunting.
Asking the Dalits to stop worshipping Hindu deities and observing Hindu rituals, Mayavati tells the party workers that even the poorest Dalit squanders Rs 1,000 every year on such useless rituals. “If you can convince them to donate this money to the party and the movement, we can take on all the manuwadi parties,” she says.
While accusing earlier Ambedkarite outfits, like the Republic Party of India, for “licking the boots of the Congress and other manuwadi parties”, the BSP leader had not spared the BJP’s Dalit leaders either.
“There was one Buddh Priya Maurya and one Sangh Priya Gautam. I am talking of UP. They were in the Congress and are now in the BJP. They used to give lengthy speeches against manuwadi forces to the delight of Dalits, but are now licking the feet of manuwadi parties,” she reminds.
While the BJP leaders refused to comment on the alleged tapes, the BSP’s reaction was expectedly derisive. “Since it is from the same concocted videotape from which the first part had come, who is going to believe it'” said a BSP leader.