When old rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad got together to take on the BJP in Bihar, the question that most people asked was: will Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav, who’ve been at daggers drawn for nearly two decades, also join hands in UP?
Most political observers think that’s highly unlikely. An alliance between Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would be politically suicidal for both in the state’s caste dynamic.
Moreover, the regional satraps have not buried their animosity over a 1995 incident in which Mawayati locked herself in a state guesthouse, saying she had been attacked by SP workers.
Mayawati’s rejection of a tie-up with Mulayam is also based on a sharp political calculation. She has her eyes on the 2017 battle for UP which, she believes, is bound to narrow down to a straight contest between the BJP and BSP.
However, senior RJD leader Ashok Singh said that the pressure on Mayawati and Mulayam would increase if the Lalu-Nitish combine in Bihar succeeds in stopping the BJP in its tracks. The coming together of the SP and the BSP takes away the backwards and Dalits from the Hindu fold that the BJP had so arduously built before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.