Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday said that both “Ali and Bajrang Bali” are her own people, referring to the Muslim and Hindu communities. She was responding to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s remarks in Ghaziabad on April 9.

“If the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP have faith in Ali, then we too have faith in Bajrang Bali,” he had said. Imam Ali is a revered figure in Islam, while Bajrang Bali is another name for the Hindu god Hanuman.

“Ali and Bajrang Bali, both are our own,” Mayawati said at a joint rally with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Badaun, NDTV reported. “That’s why we want both Ali and Bajrang Bali. Especially, we also want Bajrang Bali as he is related to my own Dalit caste. And the discovery of his caste was not done by me... it is done by Adityanath himself.” Mayawati was referring to Adityanath’s claim that Hanuman was a Dalit.

The Election Commission had sent a notice to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for his remark. It also issued a notice to Mayawati for asking the Muslim community to avoid division of votes by voting only for the candidates of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal. Both leaders responded to their notices on Friday.

Mayawati also alleged that farmers in the country were unhappy with the Narendra Modi-led government, DD News reported. She claimed that the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh government has oppressed the farmers of the state by setting animals free to destroy their crops.

“Whether it is farm loan waivers or the facilities to be provided to farmers, they have all remained locked in government files,” the Bahujan Samaj Party alleged. She alleged that the BJP government at the Centre, just like the previous Congress-led government, has not worked for the Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and other marginalised groups.