oppn parties Mayawati Shows Her Guiles

News Snippets

  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
  • After China objects to Home Minister Amit Shah's Arunachal visit, India says China has no business to comment on the issue as the state is an integral part of India
  • The OBC "creamy layer" to be changed by including salary as part of the income that will decide the threshold. This will lead to many more getting left out
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says the word "nationalism" should not be used now as it has acquired negative connotations
  • UP Sunni Central Wakf Board accepts the 5-acre plot given by the government to rebuild the Babri masjid as per the terms of the Supreme Court order
  • Two dalits thrashed and abused in Rajasthan's Nagaur. Police arrest 7 persons
  • Supreme Court rejects curative petition in the Uphaar cinema fire case in Delhi and says there will be no further jail terms for the owners, the Ansal brothers
  • Government data placed in Parliament shows a sharp decline in job creation under its flagship employment generation schemes
  • The government is working to amend the Aadhar Act to make it possible for the Aadhar to be linked with the Voter's ID. Election Commission will simultaneously be empowered to link the two
  • Tapas Pal, former TMC MP, dies of cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was questioned for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley scam and gained notoriety for his rape remark in 2014.
  • Bypoll to panchayats in J&K, scheduled for March in eight phases, postponed due to security concerns.
  • Supreme Court says that overhead power transmission lines going through the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan must go underground to save the Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican
  • Pakistan not placed in FAFT blacklist but kept on the grey list with warning
  • The government is expected to announce duty cuts and other measures to combat business disruption due to coronavirus outbreak in China
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Mayawati Shows Her Guiles

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-03-27 19:35:11

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
That the road to opposition unity has more potholes than roads in Indian cities is proved once again by Mayawati’s u-turn on the alliance with the SP. She has said that the BSP will not help Akhilesh’s party in the ensuing Lok Sabha by-poll in Kairana and the assembly by-poll in Noorpur. This comes after her earlier statement after the defeat of her candidate in the RS elections that she knows the game the BJP is playing and will not let them succeed. That statement had raised the hopes that the BSP supremo would continue with her experiment of uniting backward class voters to stump the BJP. But after holding a meeting with the district and zonal coordinators of her party, Mayawati said that party cadres will not be activated for the two by-polls, dashing the hopes of a fruitful alliance between SP and BSP.

One can make out two things from this. First, before Phulpur and Gorakhpur by-polls, Mayawati had already said that she was not interested in putting up candidates in by-polls as they did not amount to much while draining resources and energy. So she tried to make the best of the situation by getting into a quid pro quo arrangement with the SP whereby she supported it in the by-polls in return for 10 votes in the RS elections. She could manage to convince her coordinators then and they worked to convert the BSP votes in favour of the SP candidate. But with the RS result not going in BSP’s favour, the coordinators have now convinced Mayawati not to extend the arrangement.

Then, the coordinators must have also impressed upon Mayawati that once it becomes a habit with BSP voters to vote for SP candidates, there is no guarantee that they will come back to the BSP fold. Mayawati herself knows the machinations Mulayam Singh Yadav is capable of and she must have realized the folly of blindly supporting the SP. However much she would like to dent BJP’s fortune, she would not like it at the cost of her own party and that too when it would directly strengthen the rival SP. Further, the voter on the ground would also start asking awkward questions if he or she is regularly asked to vote for SP candidates. Mayawati has shown what she can do by transferring her votes to the SP. Now that she has a huge bargain point, she will use it to the best of her advantage when the time comes.

But the 2019 general elections will be a different kettle of fish. Then, there would be 80 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs. Mayawati would bargain hard with the SP and the two parties could share the seats according to an agreed formula. But for now, she would also like to show the other side to the SP. By not supporting the SP candidates in the Kairana and Noorpur by-polls, Mayawati wants to show them that without her they will not win despite the perceived strong backlash against the Yogi Adityanath government. If BJP manages to win the two by-polls, Mayawati’s hand will become stronger. Really, she is playing her cards extremely well. It just goes on to show that in politics, a strong regional leader can be down but never out.