By putting off a decision on continuing her partys support to the UPA government,BSP chief Mayawati has shown that she is in no hurry to pull the rug. At the same time,by saying that the matter requires consideration,she has done two things tried to score a point over the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh,which recently pledged to continue its support to the UPA even while opposing FDI in retail,the hike in diesel price and the cap on the supply of subsidised LPG; and tried to distance herself from the UPA,whom she has accused of pursuing anti-people policies,weakening the economy and letting corruption flourish.
But,posturing apart,the fact is that the BSP is not ready to face a Lok Sabha election. The mammoth rally that the party organised in Lucknow did not reflect any groundswell of support for Mayawati or her party in UP. Even during the Assembly elections earlier this year,the BSPs rallies were the largest. Since then,the political situation in the state hasnt changed much to its advantage.
Politically,however,the rally showed that the BSP cadres remain loyal to Mayawati. The rally was a much-needed reassurance for them given that the cadres have been afflicted by self-doubt and low morale,and not just because of the electoral setback. First,the Supreme Court quashed the Mayawati governments reservation policy. Next,an investigation in the Labour and Construction Co-operative Federations affairs unravelled a scandal in which at least 10 ministers of the Mayawati government are under the scanner for alleged siphoning of public money. Recently,the Lokayukta started an investigation into supplies procured for the construction of Mayawatis memorials and parks. The rally was meant to lift the morale of the BSP men by convincing them that these were mere hiccups and that the party could bounce back.
In her speech at the rally,Mayawati told partymen to prepare for the Lok Sabha elections and assured that the BSP would do well. The message was obvious: there was no need to be despondent,prepare for the future.
Virender is Editor,Lucknow
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