Mayawati serves her political cause by ditching UPA(News Analysis)

June 22nd, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party
By Sharat Pradhan
Lucknow, June 22 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has served her purpose well by ending her Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) legislative support to the Manmohan Singh government. Party insiders see this as a calculated move aimed at killing two birds with one stone.

The action is expected to touch upon the emotions of her core constituency, the socially and economically downtrodden Dalits, the worst hit on account of rising food prices.

She has also been able to give it back to the Congress for not bailing her out in the corruption cases registered against her.

Even on the day she chose to offer her party’s external support to the UPA government, it was evident that there was a specific agenda behind the move.

After all, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was already probing her, not only for possessing disproportionate assets but also for a suspected scam behind her initiative on the controversial Taj Corridor.

The Congress leadership was aware that Mayawati wanted a clean chit in the corruption cases.

However, she put up a much taller order of demands: a special economic package of Rs.80,000 crores to develop the most backward regions of Uttar Pradesh.

Those who prepared the charter knew well that the demand was far too high to be conceded by any government. Sure enough, the chief minister was also not ignorant.

Yet, if Mayawati made it a point to repeatedly talk about the special package, it was aimed at sending a political message — not with any hope of getting the whopping grant.

In the year that has gone by, Mayawati tried to convey to her constituency across Uttar Pradesh that the central government was not ready to assist her in achieving her mission of bringing about an economic transformation of the country’s most populous state.

Evidently, there could not be a more opportune time for her to strike, BSP managers felt.

First, the Left was keeping the Congress on tenterhooks over the India-US civil nuclear deal. In any case, it seems the Congress-government was in no mood to bail her out in the corruption cases.

In a move her admirers said was a smart one, she chose to accuse the Manmohan Singh government of giving Uttar Pradesh a raw deal.

She flayed the central government for the spiralling prices of food and other essential commodities.

The withdrawal of support by a party of 17 members in the 543-member Lok Sabha where the UPA enjoys the support of 223 may not be numerically significant.

Knowing the pulse of her core constituency, Mayawati understands that issues like the nuclear deal are not for her voters, whose lives are affected by other basic things.

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