After having remained confined to the fringes for long, the politics of Uttar Pradesh has once again acquired primacy in the national political agenda. The two UP heavyweights — Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) supreme Mulayam Singh Yadav — are camping in New Delhi to supervise and manage the numbers game.
It seems as if the two UP leaders have greater stakes in the trust vote than those of Manmohan Singh and L K Advani. So much so that a the SP and BSP members of Parliament on Monday almost came to blows during the debate. In fact, the UP focus was quite evident from the charges and counter-charges thrown between the the opposition and treasury benches.
On one occasion, the flavour of the UP assembly threatened to pervade the proceedings of the Lok Sabha. Ram Gopal Yadav’s comment that the UPA government was being sought to be pulled down “to serve the ego of one individual” was perceived by BSP member Illyas Azmi as being a slight on his leader Mayawati.
While trying to get up from his seat, he was pushed down on his seat by the SP members sitting beside him. Freeing himself from them, Azmi — followed by BSP members and rebel SP member Munawwar Hasan — charged into the well of the House to allege that he had been hit. Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.
In keeping with her emerging profile as a Prime Minister in waiting, Mayawati held an early morning press conference before the start of the special session. “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should leave it to the next government to decide the future of the nuclear deal,” she said, adding: “He should not make it a prestige issue”.