Lucknow: Blaming the Congress Party for playing the quota card wrongly before and during the seven-phased assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, outgoing chief minister Mayawati on Wednesday said this was a key factor for her party's lose and the Samajwadi Party's absolute majority win.
Addressing a news conference after submitting her resignation as chief minister to State Governor B.L Joshi, Mayawati said, "The Samajwadi Party got the Muslim votes as the Congress played the quota card wrongly."
"Congress for its selfish interests played the communal card by offering backward Muslims a sub-quota. BJP opposed this, but to protect upper caste voters. They also tried to win over Other Backward Castes (OBCs). The Muslims then panicked about the BJP returning to power. They found the Congress weak. The reservation issue worked against the Congress. So the Muslims rejected us along with the Congress and almost 70 per cent of them picked the Samajwadi Party," she added.
Mayawati further said that the new Samajwadi Party (SP) government would take the state backward.
"I had worked hard to improve the situation in the state since 2007 but the Centre had not co-operated with her. The new government would surely take the state backward," she said.
"My government worked very hard to improve law and order and provide better conditions for farmers, students, women. But now the party that has come to power (Samajwadi Party) will put these reforms and plans on the back-burner. This will set UP back by several years," she added.
She further thanked the Dalits and the people who have supported her during her tenure as a chief minister.
"Dalits have voted only for us. And that is why we placed No 2. If not for them, we would have slipped much further. I want to from the bottom of my heart thank the Dalitsm" she said.
BSP, whose rule was marred by allegations of corruption and scam, failed to make much of an impact on the electorate despite operation clean-up by Mayawati.
BSP had won a majority in the 2007 elections (206 seats), sewing up a rainbow coalition of Dalits, upper castes and Muslims, but this time, fared poorly and was reduced to 80 seats.
Mayawati became UP chief minister for third time after 2002 election with support from the BJP. Within a year the government fell and Samajwadi Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav became the chief minister for the third time in 2003 and continued till 2007.