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Support to UPA: Mayawati keeps Congress, SP guessing on rally eve

Monday October 08, 2012 07:02:46 PM, IANS

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Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati is keeping both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) guessing whether she will, at the BSP rally here Tuesday, withdraw support to the UPA government at the centre.

The rally at the Ramabai ground will be watched keenly both by the Congress and the SP in the state as the Congress shares tentative relations with both the BSP and the SP.

The Maha Dalit rally on BSP founder Kanshi Ram's death anniversary has been called to "ponder, deliberate and announce" the BSP's stand on issues like allowing the FDI in multi-brand retail and the diesel price hike.

Sources in the BSP told IANS that the former chief minister is likely to come down heavily on the Congress-led alliance on a slew of economic reforms the Manmohan Singh government recently unveiled.

A BSP leader said that Mayawati may be preparing to pull back her outside support to the UPA government at the centre.

BSP leaders told IANS that while the Akhilesh Yadav government is "getting unpopular by every passing day", the anti-incumbency factor which the BSP would like to see against the SP might not have set in as yet.

"Behenji (Mayawati) is very clear on one issue. She is against the hike in fuel prices, LPG subsidy being slashed and FDI in retail, but she is not in a hurry to precipitate a snap poll," a BSP leader said.

The rally is also aimed at feeling the pulse of the Dalit constituency, which deserted her in the state assembly polls, and to show her rivals that she is not a spent force.

"Every BSP legislator has been asked to bring in as many workers and people as they can. Makeshift hospitals have been made, activists are manning special welcome booths and helplines to guide rallyists who have begun trooping into the state capital," a BSP leader said.

More than 8,000 party workers have already arrived from Maharashtra and party cadres from other states are trickling in.

Mayawati is also likely to take on the Akhilesh Yadav government, especially after the SP government revoked the Oct 9 public holiday in the state on Kanshi Ram's death anniversary.

Party insiders say that Mayawati would be focussing on national issues too. "Behenji has her eyes on the Delhi throne," said a BSP leader.

"The Akhilesh government is sinking, people have seen their real face. All eyes are now focused on national politics and major announcements would be made on issues that have hurt the middle class and the poor," an expert on the BSP affairs told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

He added: "While supporting the Congress at the centre is an issue she might have to live with, many don't rule out Mayawati withdrawing support to the central government in the future. She might take up the cause of the 'aam aadmi' (common man) than risk her political fortunes by siding with a government which seems on its way out."

BSP sources confirm that Mayawati had been approached by the Congress on a number of occasions. "There are many offers before us but we will take a decision in conformity with our objectives and policies," said a BSP leader.




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