Dalits across India see me as ‘devi’: Mayawati

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Thursday said the Dalits across the nation see her as a `devi`, adding the ongoing protests over suspended BJP state vice-president Dayashankar Singh`s derogatory slur on her is a testament to this fact.

Mayawati said Singh used such a derogatory jibe against a leader, who has been the chief minister four times and commands immense respect among the weaker sections of the society.

“Dayashankar Singh has used derogatory language against someone, who has been chief minister of the state four times, who has been the BSP`s national president and someone who commands respect from weaker sections of the society across the nation. Besides `behenji`, they also see me as a `devi` and I respect their feelings,” she told the media here.

“So, when something derogatory is said about `devis and devtas`, the people get hurt. The Dalits and weaker sections, which see me as a devi, could not control their anger when they saw that derogatory language was being used for me,” he added.

Asserting that she did not ask her party workers to take to the streets to vent their ire over this episode, she said that they could not control their anger taking note of the derogatory remark.

Mayawati said it was good that the BJP acted promptly and suspended the leader from party.”I would have felt good if the BJP leaders themselves had registered an FIR against Singh.

They would have won my heart then,” she added.The BSP workers staged protests across several cities of the nation over Singh`s derogatory remark and demanded his arrest.The BJP yesterday expelled Dayashankar Singh from the party for six years.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday expressed `personal regret` in Parliament over Singh`s remark.”It is not right and I condemn the use of this word. And if a person has said this, we will investigate.

I express personal regret. I associate with your dignity and stand with you,” Jaitley told Mayawati in the Rajya Sabha.The BSP chief on her part thanked Jaitley and other leaders in the Rajya Sabha for supporting her on this matter.”There are war of thoughts and ideas in the House, but never have I used derogatory words against anyone ever,” Mayawati said.

“Dayashankar Singh should be arrested otherwise if in response to this the people get violent, it will not be on my conscience,” she added.