iconimg Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Zia Haq, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2009
There couldn’t have been a better place for Mayawati to raise a toast to the Third Front dream on Sunday than her new home: 14, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road, a bungalow virtually gifted to her by the CPI (M) last year. Mayawati had her eyes on this bungalow, which is right next to the BSP office at 16, Gurdwara Rakabganj, for a while. But 14, Gurdwara Rakabganj was then with a CPI (M) MP from Tamil Nadu.

Mayawati sent CPI (M) chief Prakash Karat a word last year, offering him any of the bungalows allotted to her party or to any of its legislators.

The CPI (M) was then in the middle of discussions on withdrawing support to the UPA government. A bungalow to Mayawati could be leveraged later, for something bigger.

“The request from Mayawati came and we agreed,” said CPI (M) leader S. Ramachandran Pillai, a politburo member. And then the two parties got talking. “Mayawati was very impressed with Karat because she never expected the CPM to readily give up the bungalow,” a Left leader said.

A few days later, after withdrawing support, Karat and Mayawati met. The communist party leader emerged from the meeting and declared his party will back Mayawati as a prime ministerial candidate.

The only other leader who lives right next to her office is Congress president Sonia Gandhi with the residence at 10, Janpath and the office at 24, Akbar Road (adjacent bungalows opening on different streets).