March 01, 2007 20:58 IST
Organising a mammoth rally in Lucknow on Thursday afternoon, Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati displayed her party's strength while flatly ruling out alliance with any other political party at the forthcoming state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Addressing the rally, she made it loud and clear, "We will go it alone at the assembly elections in this state and I am confident of forming a government entirely on our own this time."
Calling upon her supporters to fearlessly take on the ruling Samajwadi Party and urging them to take a resolve to "demolish Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav," Mayawati told the gathering," do not get scared of Mulayam's toughs who have unleashed a reign of terror in Uttar Pradesh ; you must muster up courage to face them."
The rally -- rated as the largest ever by any political outfit in Lucknow -- was estimated to have drawn anything between 8-10 lakh people. City life was thrown completely out of gear for several hours as thousands of vehicles carrying BSP supporters poured in from different corners of the state.
Tens of thousands who started arriving from Wednesday evening braved the thunder and downpour that continued through the night.
Even as many traffic diversions were put in place and most vehicles were halted at least 4-5 km short of the venue -- the sprawling Amkedkar Maidan -- most major thoroughfares in the state capital remained clogged for hours.
Sporting the party blue badges and carrying the matching banner and flags, BSP workers virtually took over all roads leading to the venue, that was nearly painted blue with banners, buntings and posters of their party president.
The ground flanked by giant sized cut-outs of BSP's icons -- Babasaheb Ambedkar , Shahuji Maharaj, Jyotiba Phule, Narain Guru, Periyar and Mayawati herself.
In a bid to boost the morale of her partymen, she went on to add, "Remember, BSP was the only party that has the potential to beat Mulayam at the hustings."
She said amidst loud applause, "Remember only a Krishna like Mayawati can bring the end of Kans-like Mulayam."
Displaying equal disdain for all other parties through her 1 hour 50 - minute long address, she said, "Bhartiya Janata Party and Congress had joined hands to damage the BSP, but I can assure you that they would not be able to cause any harm to us."
She went on to add, "Congress was only focused on one mission -- to send me to jail and it was busy hatching all kinds of conspiracies against me." She also charged the Congress party of "...clandestinely floating smaller parties like the Jan Morcha and UDF with the sole objective of denting BSP's rich prospects."
Mayawati did not mince words in condemning BJP as well. To the BJP leader Kalyan Singh's oft-repeated charge that she took money to give party tickets, Mayawati was candid enough to declare, "Yes, I do take money for awarding the party ticket, but everyone knows that I have no family and all that money is used for taking our party ahead.
She however kept away from making reference to today's order of the Supreme Court ordering a CBI probe into UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's assets.
As if pre-empting a tirade during the elections about her own material acquisitions including huge properties, she told the gathering, "Our political adversaries may try to raise the question of some property owned by me; well, I do own two bungalows -- one in Lucknow and another in New Delhi and it is you supporters who have gifted me these."
She also declared, "After I am no more, these houses would be converted into party museums and not go to any member of my family."
As many as 17 trains were hired by the party to ferry its volunteers from various places across the state. "They have paid several hundred thousand rupees for each train," Lucknow divisional railway manager R K Gupta had earlier told media.
"More than 10 lakh people have attended the rally," said BSP General Secretary Satish Chandra Misra, who was credited with the party's success in attracting even Brahmins to the party, that was essentially known as a Dalit outfit.