Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's direct cash transfer scheme here, describing it as a ploy to hoodwink voters in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"This is an old book with a new cover," the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo told reporters, pointing that scholarships for the Scheduled Castes (SC) and the Scheduled Tribes (ST) in the state initiated under her chief ministership was already in place where financial aid was transferred straight to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
Accusing the Congress of yet again trying to "fool the voters," she said people should not be swayed by false promises of the Congress.
"This is an 'adh kacchi' (half-baked) scheme cooked up by the dhokebaaz (fraud) Congress and I warn the people of the country not to fall to the allurements," she said.
'Aapka paisa, aapke haath', the credo coined by the UPA government was nothing but a "sham and a political stunt aimed at fooling the electorate," she alleged.
Her remarks came a day after the central government began the New Year by rolling out the ambitious direct cash transfer of benefits covering seven welfare schemes in 20 districts across the country.
Mayawati asked people to keep the Congress away from power as it has never worked for the people, Dalits and minorities.
The former chief minister condemned the Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape and called for evolving a political consensus for tougher laws to check crime against women. The victim died of her injuries Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital.
The union government should also seek opinion of legal luminaries, chief justices of all state high courts and judges of the Supreme Court on the issue, Mayawati said.
"In such horrifying times, a tough response and stern action is required," she said.
She said political parties should refrain from distributing tickets to people with criminal antecedents. She expressed concern over rising crime against women in Uttar Pradesh.
On the issue of demands of resignation of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav due to apex court directive to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe graft charges against him, she said the answer should come from the Samajwadi Party.
On the growing chorus of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being a potential prime ministerial candidate, Mayawati said BSP would do everything possible to prevent it.