From Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: The euphoria following the grand unity show in Bengaluru, where BSP national president Mayawati was a star presence, has already been tempered by the compulsions of electoral politics. Mayawati had made it clear that she was willing to forge an anti-BJP alliance at the national level but would prefer to go it alone if her party was not given proper seats.
The manner in which the Opposition leaders were courting for her attention during recent oath taking ceremony of the Kumaraswamy ministry in Karnataka has boosted the morale of the BSP leader.
The bonhomie shown by Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati on the dais during the event hinted at the possibility of the two parties forming an alliance for Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh assembly elections due later this year. Senior Opposition leaders visited Mayawati in her hotel to win her support for the assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Realising her growing importance, Mayawati has starting talking tough to strike the best possible bargain for seats in the assembly as well as Lok Sabha polls. Addressing her party meeting in Lucknow recently, she asked her cadre to prepare for contesting the elections alone if the party was getting a raw deal at the time of seat distribution.
If Mayawati decides to join hands with Congress, it would be difficult for BJP to retain power in all the three states. BSP had got 4.27 per cent votes in Chattisgarh in the 2013 polls and 6.11 per cent in 2008. The fact remains that BJP won these two polls by very thin majority. Similarly in Madhya Pradesh, in the 2013 assembly polls BSP had got 6.30 per cent votes while the vote difference between ruling BJP and Congress was eight percent. So there is a realisation in Congress that if Mayawati was handled properly BJP could be defeated in these states.
Mayawati has regained confidence after success of BSP and SP alliance in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-elections held in UP recently. As part of her image building exercise she announced that her younger brother Anand had resigned from the post of vice-president. Mayawati does not want anybody to say that she was promoting her family in politics. It may be noted that Anand was facing several inquiries into his real estate business. He was also linked with bogus companies after demonetization.
Mayawati had appointed her younger brother in 2017 as vice president and had said he would run the party in her absence but he would not contest any election. She also effected a major reshuffle in the party organisation by announcing former MLC RS Kushwaha as the new state president.
Ever since Mayawati removed her close lieutenant Babu Singh Kushwaha, she was looking for a proper replacement to win over the powerful backward community, which plays very important role in deciding the outcome of several constituencies. She also elevated former state president Ram Achal Rajbhar as the national secretary of the party to utilise his services in other states for the forthcoming assembly polls.
The results for the Kairana Lok Sabha seat and Noorpur assembly polls will also impact the possible alliance of SP-BSP-RLD and other like-minded parties. (IPA Service)