SC directive on Mayawati to affect UP scenario

None | BySaroj Nagi & Sutirtho Patranobis, New Delhi
Nov 27, 2006 11:52 PM IST

The first impact of this may be felt in the relations between the BSP and the Congress, report Saroj Nagi & Sutirtho Patranobis.

The Supreme Court's ruling clearing the decks for BSP leader Mayawati's prosecution in the Taj corridor case is likely to add to the ongoing process of social and political realignments taking place in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

The first impact of this may be felt in the relations between the BSP and the Congress. The Samajwadi Party, which sees the BSP as its main challenger, appears to be relishing the situation, with leaders like Amar Singh expecting the court ruling to sour BSP-Congress relations. Mulayam's party, in fact, anticipates a further flux in the situation and hopes to see the BSP leader lash out at the Congress. 

Whether Mayawati does that remains to be seen. But there are many who believe that in the altered scenario where the CBI will be framing charges against Mayawati, the latter's dependence on the Congress would increase.

The Congress' prospects in the state are not exactly bright, with Sonia Gandhi's party hoping, in a best case scenario, to become a kingmaker in a hung assembly.  But to put itself in that situation it needs to rustle up some pre-poll alliances that are not expected to come about unless the party improves its ground level support.

The Congress has, officially, refrained from reacting to the latest developments. "We do not comment on the decisions of the Supreme Court," said AICC's Media Department chairman Janardan Dwivedi tersely.

Unlike the Congress, which would have wanted a tie up with the BSP if Mayawati had agreed, the BJP had already ruled out any understanding with the Dalit party.

On Monday, the BJP declined support to Mayawati. Reacting to queries, BJP leader VK Malhotra told reporters that his party believed that "corruption, if any, should come out." He added: "Law should take its own course. Court directions should be adhered to."

The BJP's reaction to the BSP was also an acknowledgement of the resentment that its coalition with the BSP in the Nineties had created among its upper caste supporters. Of late, the party has been trying to recoup this base under BJP chief Rajnath Singh's leadership and guard it from BSP's attempts to make a dent in it by giving tickets to Brahmins.

And if BJP manages to hold on to its base, the SP—recently jettisoned by its CPM ally—too, can hope to keep its Muslim base intact.

Conscious that she can come to power on her own only by expanding her Dalit base, Mayawati has been trying to win over a section of Brahmins and Muslims.

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