Mayawati addresses a press conference | ANI
Lucknow: With the beginning of the first phase of polling for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday said that it is time to make a decision whether people want a "sorrowful" state or protect their interests in the coming five years in the state.
The BSP leader also extended a warm welcome to all the voters for phase 1 voting which includes 58 assembly constituencies of 11 districts in western Uttar Pradesh.
"A warm welcome to all of you in the first phase of voting today in 58 Assembly constituencies of 11 districts in western UP for the polls here. It is time to decide whether the coming five years in UP will be full of sorrows as earlier or you will be able to save yourself," Mayawati tweeted.
She further termed the BSP as "a movement of social change and economic emancipation" whose goal is to liberate the poor, labourers, farmers, small traders, and other communities from the state of "helpless and slave life".
"The BSP is a movement of social change and economic emancipation whose goal is to make people partners in power which cannot be done by the BJP, Congress, and the Samajwadi Party (SP). Our goal is to liberate the poor from the state of helplessness," the BSP chief said in a tweet.
Mayawati also hit out at the BJP government at the Centre and in the state, alleging that "they have hidden their face like an ostrich by committing the crime of increasing problems of poverty, unemployment, inflation, electricity, and many others in Uttar Pradesh".
She said that the polls give opportunities to the people to change the government in the state. "The BSP is the better option, do give us chance this time," she added.
Voting for the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh elections for 58 Assembly seats, covering 11 districts of the state began today at 7 am. The voting will conclude at 6 pm today.
The first phase will cover the 'Jat-dominant belt' of the western parts of the state.
The districts going to the polls today are Mathura, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Hapur, Shamli, Baghpat, Aligarh, Agra, and Gautam Buddha Nagar.
As many as 623 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of the assembly polls while nearly 2.27 crore voters will decide their fate.
The 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly is scheduled to go to the polls in seven phases on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, March 3, and 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. ANI