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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 110

Mayawati takes over UP chief minister today

By M Rama Rao - Reporting from Delhi

New Delhi, 13 May, (Asiantribune.com): About 36-hours after she made pollsters bite dust and opponents vanquished, Mayawati, BSP supremo, Behenji’ to her followers, takes over as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. It marks for the first time, a ‘Dalit beti’ becoming ‘UP ki Rani’ in her own right. “She doesn’t need any once support”, agreed Sushma Swaraj of the BJP as analysts declared that UP will have a single party government for the first time in 17-years. Mayawati single handedly swung the entire state the BSP way except Bundelkhand which adjoins Madhya Pradesh and Western UP, which is Jat leader Ajit Singh’s family fiefdom. Mayawati single handedly swung the entire state the BSP way except Bundelkhand which adjoins Madhya Pradesh and Western UP, which is Jat leader Ajit Singh’s family fiefdom.

Mulayam Singh, the Samajwadi party chief, who earned the sobriquet of ‘Moolahyumm’, has been reduced literally to dust. He had become yet another dot in the long history of the largest state. The Muslims have ditched the ‘Maulana’ and jumped onto the Elephant. And other OBCs followed suit as the Yadavs increasingly rallied behind their beleaguered clan leader.

In the process, the UP voter delivered a stunning blow to Chandrababu Naidu and Jayalalithaa who along with the CPI (M)’s Prakash karat have been dreaming of a third front to play a meaningful role on the national scene.

Real Loser: The real loser of the election, however, is Rajnath Singh, who wears the BJP crown by default and also rather hesitatingly. He wanted to create a hat trick by winning UP in tow after Punjab and Uttarakhand. Infighting and backstabbing did him in from the state to district and village level.

Kalyan Singhs hated Lalji Tandons, Atals did not want Kalyans. Joshis were after Advanis. Kalraj Mishras were after every one else. L K Advani, the ideologue, who is trying to emerge out of the dog house he was pushed into by the Sangh, confounded the party, cadres and the electorate with his flip-flops and confused priorities.

“We were not perceived as the real alternative to SP”, Sushma Swaraj, BJP’s in house spin doctor, told reporters in a lame explanation for the ‘worst rout’. After a pause, she added, “We started late by then people have made up their choice”. According to her, the BJP took seriously to UP only after the party made significant gains in the municipal elections last year.

Failed Hindutva: What about the Hindutva card, she was asked. The BJP was trounced in the Ayodhya belt. Sushma smiled. Her colleague, Ravi Shankar Prasad said Hindutva was not an issue in the election. Other BJP leaders are quick to concede that CD gimmicks have failed to whip up the support of Hindu vote. Instead, what had happened was ‘a sizable erosion’ of Brahmin base which moved over to the BSP. This is clear from the rout of Kesharinath Tripathi and Lalji Tandon, the two tall Brahmin leaders in the BJP.

Mayawati Engineering: Kanshiram must be really pleased by his protégé’s show. Mayawati single handedly swung the entire state the BSP way except Bundelkhand which adjoins Madhya Pradesh and Western UP, which is Jat leader Ajit Singh’s family fiefdom.

In Rohilakhand which is next to the BJP ruled Uttarakhand state, Mayawati stunned the BJP. She decimated the saffron party in Eastern UP which went to vote in the last and seventh phase of elections. But it was in north-eastern and eastern regions as also in Avadh and Doab regions that the Bahujan Samaj party emerged as a truly Bahujan Samaj.

The swing in its favour in the north-eastern districts was ‘phenomenal’. Its tally here went up by three times to 28 seats. The party doubled its hold over Avadh (36).

What contributed to Mayawati phenomenon? Opinion is divided amongst political pundits though they commend Mayawati for going beyond the Ambedkar and Kanshiram ideologies and bringing into BSP fold the upper castes and minorities.

In the current elections Mayawati gave roughly 100 tickets to Dalits, more than 100 to OBCs, 60 odd seats to Muslims and over a 120 seats to upper castes.

Not too long ago, her party’s slogan was ‘tilak tarazu aur talvaar, inko maaro jute chaar” (Beat Brahmins, Baniyas and Rajputs with shoes); this time her ‘nara’ was ‘tilak tarazu kalam kataar, inka karo shishtachaar’ (Deal with Brahmins, Baniyas and Rajputs politely).

Mayawati is no longer an angry young woman. Learning from experience, she has transformed herself into a leader of substance acceptable to people across the spectrum with her ability to speak today’s idiom namely ‘empowerment’.

Congress Show: In so far the Congress is concerned, the party did exceedingly well in Avadh and had put up a good show in the northeast. Rohilakhand, Bundelkhand, and Western UP offered room for no comfort.

Yet, analysts aver that the Congress has reason to feel some comfort at its final show since it has neither the organization in place nor cadres to convert the response to Rahul show into votes. More over, the Congress never projected itself as the immediate alternative. So much so, a ten percent plus vote share is seen as a gain as the UP Congress under Rahul Gandhi gets ready to face the Lok Sabha elections in another two years.

- Asian Tribune -

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