The politics of their own backyards are guiding Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati's decisions in Delhi, so crucial for the survival of the UPA government.
The doughty Mulayam may temporarily bail out the tottering government if he gets a face-saver in the form of a partial rollback of the reform measures announced by the Centre.
Political observers here said he will prefer to keep the government on tenterhooks and wait for a more opportune moment to withdraw support.
It appears Mulayam has also found old friends he lost during the chaos over the nuclear deal with the US. The Left not only joined him for the Bharat Bandh but told him to lead a front.
As for Mayawati, people close to her indicated that she would demand a quota in promotions in lieu of her support to the UPA. Her 21 MPs will easily replace the TMC’s 19.
The Congress will have no difficulty in agreeing as it had moved a bill in the last session of Parliament, which, however, was consumed by Coalgate.
Indications are that Mayawati may not be averse to a high profile position at the Centre. If the Congress convinces her to join the government, it will give stability to UPA-2 and wings to Mayawati’s plans to take the centre-stage in national politics.
The BSP would not want elections before 2013, by which time it reckons the Akhilesh government would stand discredited.
The only party likely to gain from a general election soon is the SP. One, its organisational machinery is fully charged. Two, it has started the candidate selection process. And three, its popular vote base has not withered in the six months of the Akhilesh government, which has slowly started implementing the party’s poll promises.