NEW DELHI: “Dump the SP and BJP. Not just that ensure that their candidate lose their security deposits,” said Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati, sounding the bugle for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on the 125th birth anniversary of B.R.Ambedkar.

She also trained her guns on the Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi saying that he did not acknowledge the suicides by Dalit students when his party was in power. Buy “now the yuvaraj is indulging in theatrics,” she said in reference to scholar Rohith Vemula who had taken his life at the Hyderabad Central University.

The BSP chief said that Bharat Mata ki Jai was not mandatory. “There are other ways to show your patriotism”, she said. We in BSP say Jai Bheem and Jai Bharat. Some say Jai Hind. It's not necessary to chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai, for which BJP is making a big hue and cry," she said.

Mayawati is for the moment not responding to any overtures from the other political parties in the state. In fact her call to the electorate comes just hours after reports that the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a fresh petition on the disproportionate assets case against her. Rumours continue to dog the BSP chieftain of a possible compromise with the ruling party at the centre to escape the law. However, those on the ground in UP insist that she will not bow down to this pressure with a legislator saying, “you do not know behenji, she does not take kindly to threats.”

Mayawati urged the people, in what was an election speech, to reject the Samajwadi party that had failed on all fronts. She attacked the BJP for failing to bring back the black money from abroad as per its Lok Sabha promises adding, “I have noticed that the BJPs base is shrinking across the country.” She said that the BJP was implementing the RSS agenda in higher education institutions, by playing “dirty tricks.”

Mayawati labelled the opposing political parties as “opportunists” who were trying to woo the Dalits for electoral gains. ”I am cautioning the Dalits not only of Uttar Pradesh but the whole country to be watchful of the sweet talk by these parties as this is meant only for electoral gains and has no seriousness,” she said. She asked her voters to act as the “master keys to political power” as espoused by Ambedkar, she said the time had come to uproot this “ anti-Dalit government in UP” in the Assembly polls next year.

For this speech Mayawati played the card of development and security to the hilt. She laughed at the Modi government for running bullet trains, saying that this money could have been better used for schemes for the poor like MNREGA. She ridiculed Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for failing in development, and instead using the funds for extravaganzas in the family’s home constituency Etawah. And for encouraging officials to take long foreign tours

Mayawati had last spoken in Parliament where she had taken a strong stand against the government on the Rohith Vemula issue. But here too she had kept a distance from the other political parties, securing the spotlights however, in a direct face off with HRD Minister Smriti Irani by repeatedly asking whether a Dalit member had been included in the probe committee into Rohith Vemulas suicide. At one point Irani was goaded into saying that she would respond to all these questions, and if she failed to satisfy Mayawati she could have her head. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned several times as Mayawati insisted on a response, and was finally the next day persuaded by the other opposition parties to have her say and wait for the Ministers response. After that Mayawati said that her specific question had not been answered, and asked Irani whether she would now give her head as she had earlier offered.

Mayawati was clear that "law and order and development" would be the main focus of her government if voted to power. And that all “decisions taken by the present government on the basis of caste will be reviewed and action taken accordingly."

In Lucknow Mayawati continues to be seen as a good administrator with the current buzz placing her ahead of all her rivals in terms of credibility. All the other political parties are busy revamping the organisation, with changes in the BSP, if any, effected quietly without public announcements. The BSP leader has the reputation of working quietly in the districts, and after the last Lok Sabha polls where she lost the youth in her Dalit support base to the BJP, has been working to re-consolidate her core vote bank. Sources said that the possibility of a pre poll alliance is almost ruled out, with the election results determining alliances for the BSP.

Mayawati who has been unusually quiet over the past two years, is expected to come out of hibernation mode with this speech that has joined issue with all the other political parties in the state. It might be recalled that there is now a fourth player in the midst of the BSP, SP, Congress, BJP and that is the new party emerging from the merger between Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal(U) and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal. This is being formed with an eye on the old Jat base of the RLD that it lost completely to the BJP, more so after the Muzaffarnagar violence in 2014 at the time of the Lok Sabha polls. Sources here said that there was a shift in the Jat allegiance that Ajit Singh was optimistic was moving in his favour.