Phule joined the BJP in 2000 and contested the assembly elections in 2002, 2007 and 2012. She managed to win the 2012 elections and later the 2014 Lok Sabha election but fell out with the saffron party after the Supreme Court struck down the stringent provisions of the Atrocities Act.
In an interview with News 18.com, Phule talks about her frustrations of being associated with the saffron party, her disenchantment with Mayawati and the recently forged SP-BSP alliance. She pins her hopes on the Congress to implement the Constitution in full spirit for the true upliftment of communities. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview.
Almost four months of leaving the BJP, and now Congress ticket to contest from Bahraich. How have things changed?
I was elected as the MP of Bahraich on a BJP ticket and I reached the Lok Sabha. I have been there and I know the real values of the BJP are against the Constitution. Despite serving as an MP for a reserved seat, I was never heard. My demands for full implementation of the reservation policy were not given due attention. I even wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bringing to his notice that the spirit of reservation is not being realised fully as of the 27% OBCs, only 5% get the benefit of reservation. Similarly, SCs and STs don’t get the best of reservations. But I was not heard. On the other hand, I feel that the Congress is working to preserve these constitutional values.
What do you have to say about the 10% reservation being given to the EWS category in upper caste?
The Constitution framers made provisions for equality. Reservation is very critical for equality, and it was for those who were historically wronged, who were untouchables. Through reservation, the framers of the Constitution wanted to make the SC/ST/OBCs capable of becoming an IAS, pradhan and pramukh. But now, there is an attempt to change the Constitution. Or let me put it like this: I have been to the Lok Sabha, and I know it, they are changing the Constitution. This is happening because after all, ‘RSS ki sarkar hai…Jo kahan jaeyga woh hi karenge Modiji’.
You are contesting from Uttar Pradesh constituency where we also have the gathbandhan. What do you have to say about this SP-BSP alliance?
This is not an alliance. This is a conspiracy by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav to help the BJP. On so many occasions, Mulayam Singh Yadav said he wants PM Modi to be re-elected. In states like Gujarat and Rajasthan, people wanted an alliance but Mayawati did not encourage it because she wants the BJP to benefit. One thing that clearly emerges out of all this for me is that only the Congress can stop Modi.
Your views on Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi?
Samvidhan ko bachane ke liye sangharsh kar rahe hain… They are putting up a tough fight and questioning how Modi’s regime only benefitted big corporate houses and ignored the people of the country. There is immense enthusiasm among youth on seeing Priyanka Gandhi on the ground. She is very honest. As a woman, I am very happy to have her. If Congress forms the next government, it will implement the Constitution in true spirit. I have spoken to Rahul Gandhi about the need to do so, and how true implementation will lead to true development of the country.