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Mayawati dons battle fatigues for Lok Sabha polls
Tuesday July 23, 2013 3:29 PM, Mohti Dubey, IANS

Ousted from power in Uttar Pradesh after losing the 2012 assembly elections and fairly marginalised in national politics, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has already donned the battle fatigues, fine-tuning a two-pronged strategy for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

On a three-day "unusually long" stay in the state capital, the former chief minister is working overtime and relentlessly, party insiders say, to "ensure that her arch-rival, Mulayam Singh Yadav's (ruling) Samajwadi Party (SP), is defeated at the hustings".

"Behenji (Mayawati) is very focused on her aim of taking the 'sarva samaaj' (people at large) along and winning the maximum seats for the BSP in the Lok Sabha polls," senior party leader and close confidante Naseemuddin Siddiqui told IANS.

He said that even as other parties struggle to mobilise their organisational structure, the Dalit leader is well ahead with her preparations, having finalised almost all candidates for the parliamentary polls.

With a hostile government in her home state and a "not too caring" government in Delhi, the BSP supremo has drawn her strategy to take on the SP and the Congress.

While she has asked party cadres to mobilise support for the BSP by targeting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's failure to check price rise, inflation and the frequent hikes in fuel prices, she has constituted a state panel to draft a charge sheet against the SP government, led by Mulayam Singh's son Akhilesh Yadav.

"The state government has failed on every front and it will be our endeavour to ensure that this government's inaction and misdeeds are thoroughly exposed by the party workers in the run up to the general elections," said Swamy Prasad Maurya, leader of the opposition in the assembly.

Sources say that Mayawati has already okayed the blueprint of the "all-out offensive" against the SP government and this will soon be revealed to the press.

"We will then distribute these pamphlets and other documents to the common people to expose the Akhilesh Yadav government," said a party insider, while adding that crime statistics are also being gathered to factually prove that the state is facing a 'jungle raaj' (jungle rule) under the SP government.

Mayawati has also asked senior party leaders to take the legal route against the state government in case other democratic means fail.

She went into a huddle with legal luminaries within the party a few days back and directed Rajya Sabha MP and close confidante S.C. Mishra to "knock the doors of the judiciary against the SP government in matters pertaining to public and social causes".

Miffed at the repeated instances of hiring out parks and memorials constructed during her regime for other purposes, a team has also been formed to publicise this "humiliation to Dalit greats".

A group of BSP leaders is also studying the relations between Mayawati's government and the UPA and will detail the rejection of her demands for special economic packages. One such case is a Rs.80,000-crore package sought by Mayawati that was turned down by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A list of communal riots and flare-ups in the little over one year that the SP government has been in power - at last count 32 - is also being compiled to be "passed on to the minority leaders" for "corrective action".

"In the state assembly elections, the minorities had by and large deserted us, leading to nose diving of our seats. This time, we are telling them as to where they stand in this lip-service government," a senior BSP minority leader told IANS.

Mayawati has already reviewed the poll preparations of western, eastern and central Uttar Pradesh. By fast-tracking her party's preparations for 2014, the Dalit leader has amply displayed her ambitions as the possible queen or the kingmaker in New Delhi.

(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at mohit.d@ians.in)

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