Mayawati unlikely to join Patna rally
A senior BSP leader said Lalu Yadav called on ‘behanji’ (Mayawati) on Sunday to urge her to participate in the rally. Lalu also told her to play a leading role in the formation of the anti-NDA alliance.lucknow Updated: Aug 22, 2017 12:13 IST
Chances of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) national president Mayawati attending an anti-NDA rally called by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav at Patna on August 27 are dim.
A senior BSP leader said Lalu Yadav called on ‘behanji’ (Mayawati) on Sunday to urge her to participate in the rally. Lalu also told her to play a leading role in the formation of the anti-NDA alliance. “She did not commit and might depute a senior leader to attend the rally,” he said.
Earlier, Lalu had offered Mayawati a Rajya Sabha seat from Bihar.
A poster in which Mayawati calls for opposition unity was uploaded on micro blogging site Twitter on Sunday. In a press release on Monday, Mayawati said, “BSP does not have a Twitter account”.She rebutted reports carried in a section of media that she was joining the Congress led grand alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Terming her poster with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav as mischievous, Mayawati said, “Reports carried in media on the basis of the poster uploaded on Twitter were wrong”.
“After three consecutive defeats - 2012 assembly election, 2014 Lok Sabha election and 2017 assembly election, Mayawati is striving hard to regain her lost base. The rise of Bhim Army in West UP and inroad made by the saffron brigade in her vote bank are giving the BSP camp the jitters. To counter the strategy of the rival political parties she plans to start early preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” said a political observer AK Mishra.
Though she has extended support to UPA presidential candidate Meira Kumar and vice- presidential candidate Gopal Krishna Gandhi, she gave indication that she was not keen on the joining the anti-BJP front at a meeting of the party leaders held in the first week of August. She is also battling opinion of senior leaders in the party who are divided over joining the Congress-RJD alliance.
In the 2017 assembly election though BSP bagged merely 19 seats but it polled over 20% votes. Her resignation from the Rajya Sabha on July 18 for “not being allowed to speak on Dalit atrocities” has generated sympathy among the Dalit community.
She is of the view that rather than the BSP the alliance partners always benefitted in the election. She gives example of the 1993 alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and 1996 alliance with the Congress and says while both parties gained the BSP failed to get desired seats in the assembly election.
First Published: Aug 22, 2017 12:13 IST