Addressing a rally at ITI ground in Azamgarh city of eastern Uttar Pradesh, BSP leader Mayawati predicted that the BJP was so desperate to come to power in the state that it could go to any extent and even wage a war in the name of terrorism or Kashmir.
She also accused the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring the eastern Uttar Pradesh and its development. She also targeted Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is a Member of Parliament from Azamgarh, for the inability of his party’s government in the state to develop his constituency.
As Mayawati faces desertions and rebellions from some of her closest aides in politics, she is struggling to send a message of being the strongest contender for the post of Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister in the coming assembly elections. Though she is focused on portraying her party as not only winnable but also representatives of all castes and communities in the state, there are problems cropping up now and then.
The abusive slogans raised at a protest against former BJP politician Dayashankar Singh who had made a derogatory remark about her, were seen as anti-upper caste by many. Now, Singh’s wife Swati has begun a campaign highlighting the same slogans which were targetted at Singh’s daughter and sisters.
Former Member of Parliament Brajesh Pathak, one of the faces of BSP leader Mayawati’s social engineering of bringing Dalits and upper castes, especially Brahmins, together in the party fold, joined the BJP on Monday. The entry of Pathak into the BJP is one of the latest setbacks for Mayawati who has been deserted by more than a dozen politicians in past two years.
The Lion Safari in Etawah is a dream project of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Begun more than a decade back during the chief ministership of Mulayam Singh Yadav, the project is yet to take off. The latest hurdle which has been nagging the officials is the inability of Asiatic lions to survive. Four adults have died since 2014. Five cubs have failed to survive last year. The elections are less than six months away, but the lions seem indifferent to the politics.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati became the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for the first time in June 1995. Khujauli was among the Dalit-majority villages which were chosen by her government for primary development works like construction of roads, installation of handpumps and supply of electricity. Twenty one years later, Mayawati is fighting a tough battle to return as chief minister for the fifth time. This village is hopeful.
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal(United) president Nitish Kumar has been busy holding rallies in Uttar Pradesh. Enthused by his victory in Bihar last month, Kumar has been trying to damage the B.J.P. of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in U.P., the most populous state which is also represented by Modi in Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament from Varanasi. Kumar has talked to leaders of many smaller outfits, most of them based on caste, and several rebel leaders of state’s influential parties like Bahujan Samaj Party of former U.P. Chief Minister Mayawati, with the offer of striking an alliance. However, the response of these smaller outfits has not been very enthusiastic. Kumar who could well be perceived as preparing for launching his campaign for Prime Minister in 2019 parliamentary elections, does not look getting the response that he needs to stand up as a challenger to PM Modi.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati will kick off her party’s campaign for coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh with a rally in Agra on Aug. 21. She is going to address her first rally in the state after 2014 Lok Sabha polls and her party functionaries are trying to make it a grand show of strength as well as of consolidated Dalit support in the wake of attacks on Dalits in B.J.P.-ruled Gujarat.