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 Mayawati keeps the sword hanging over UPA Last updated on: October 11, 2012 11:56 IST

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PostSubject: Mayawati keeps the sword hanging over UPA Last updated on: October 11, 2012 11:56 IST   Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:33 pm

Mayawati keeps the sword hanging over UPA
Last updated on: October 11, 2012 11:56 IST

Neerja Chowdhury

Neerja Chowdhury analyses why BSP supremo Mayawati is bargaining hard with the UPA government

The UPA allies are once again flexing their muscles, as Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati deferred her party's decision on whether or not to continue supporting the Manmohan Singh-led government, and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar urged his partymen to be ready for a mid term poll.

The ruling Congress, which had looked confident only a few days ago after taking a slew of economic reform measures, once again found itself on the backfoot, under the daily attack by Team Kejriwal, and buffeted around by its allies.

Even as he hinted at the possibility of a snap poll, Pawar was more nuanced in his articulation and his words were directed more at his supporters, particularly his nephew Ajit Pawar who wants to withdraw support to the government in Mumbai which he quit a few days ago.

Pawar obviously used his party's conclave in Vadodra to placate the Ajit Pawar supporters and bargain hard with the Congress for a share in seats in Gujarat going to the polls in December.

As for Mayawati, the UPA leadership was confident of her continued support as the BSP, as it had faced a drubbing in the state elections earlier this year, and is not ready to face a mid term poll.

But the BSP supremo decided on Wednesday to postpone the decision about her party's support.

Her party's national executive, which was supposed to take this decision on Wednesday following the government's resolve to hike diesel prices and cap the LPG cylinders and go for FDI in multi-brand retail, has now authorised her to take the crucial decision, as if she needed that authorisation.

Whether it would have been under the garb of the party executive or in her capacity as the BSP chief, everyone knows that it is Mayawati who would take that critical decision.

The BSP supremo held out a veiled threat to the UPA leadership when, like Pawar, she too talked about early polls, exhorting her partymen to be ready for a snap poll.

Mayawati is bargaining hard with the UPA, rendered more vulnerable after the exit of the Trinamool Congress, with the Supreme Court's words to the CBI on Tuesday to feel free to pursue the case against her of having acquired wealth disproportionate to her income.

Her words on Tuesday about FDI in retail -- that she would support the decision if it benefitted people --were interpreted to mean that she would continue to support the government. But after the Apex court's observations, Mayawati's stand appears to have hardened.

Now, much will hinge on how the CBI moves in her case after the Apex court's directive to it. Either way, it is problematic for the ruling Congress.

If the CBI cries off, the government would invite flak. As it is, it is under attack from civil society representatives for making the CBI a handmaiden of the government. If the CBI moves against her, early elections or not, she can be expected to retaliate and that would be the beginning of the end.

Unlike Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has everything to gain from an early election. The SP is losing ground in UP, particularly on the law and order front. As time goes by, anti-incumbency will set in.

Both Mayawati and Mulayam, who is waiting and watching to see how the situation evolves, are exercised about the disproportionate wealth cases against them.

But Mulayam is not pulling the plug because he would like to ensure that if he takes such a step, the government will actually fall. He does not want to become a Mamata Bannerji, out of the government without the benefit of elections taking place. This would be Advantage Mayawati.

Clearly, Mayawati has decided to put the UPA on notice and keep the sword hanging over its head.

In the post-Trinamool situation, the withdrawal of support by any two of these three formations -- the SP, BSP or the DMK -- would mean the end of the government.

The DMK has also started to distance itself from the Congress.

The supreme irony of it all is the way DMK leaders are now criticising the Congress for corruption and price rise! It has decided not to send its representatives into government to fill the vacancies caused by the exit of A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran.

The DMK is also learnt to be holding back channel talks with the National Democratic Alliance, in an attempt to work out an alternative post poll arrangement.

Meanwhile, indications are that the now-postponed but much- hyped reshuffle of the Cabinet, which was expected to give a fill-up to the UPA to enable it to get a grip over a deteriorating situation, may not turn out to be the far-reaching political exercise that it was once billed to be.
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PostSubject: No decision on supporting UPA yet: Mayawati October 10, 2012 14:34 IST   Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:38 pm

[b]No decision on supporting UPA yet: Mayawati
October 10, 2012 14:34 IST[

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati [ Images ] on Wednesday kept up the suspense on continuance of outside support to the United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] government at the Centre, saying a decision on the issue will be taken soon.

She also asked party cadres to be ready for snap polls which "can take place any time" in view of the "instability" at the Centre.

Mayawati, who had said that the decision on the issue of continuing support to the UPA will be taken ton Wednesday, said the BSP National Executive and the Parliamentary Board have left it to her to take a final call on it.

"But there will be no delay. The decision will be taken soon and conveyed to you," she told reporters after the meeting.

Mayawati said it was now her "responsibility" to take a decision on the issue, keeping in mind the interests of the people as well as her party's ideology.

She said her party has supported the UPA with a view to weaken fundamentalist forces in the country and work for the welfare of all the sections of the society, including Dalits
and minorities.

"But it is a matter of sorrow that the attitude of the central government has been very disappointing regarding these from the very beginning," she said.

Mayawati said that prices have spiralled due to the "wrong policies" of the government.

"Besides, a number of anti-people decisions have been taken by the Centre due to which people of the country are very perturbed. Corruption is rampant and no effective steps
have been taken by the government," she alleged.

Mayawati asked the party cadre to expose the "wrong" policies of the government by holding cadre camps, dharnas and public meetings across the country on a war footing so that the Centre is forced to withdraw its "anti-people" decisions.

"Keeping in mind the state of instability at the Centre, mid-term polls can take place any time. Our party has to prepare on a war-footing. We want to emerge as a balance of power," she said.

She alleged that corruption was rampant in this government and no concrete steps have been taken to check it.

The BSP supremo said the national executive and the parliamentary board also decided to launch a campaign to expose "anti-people" policies of the Centre across the country through demonstrations and public meetings.

"The campaign will be launched across the country very soon so that pressure is created on the government to withdraw anti-people decisions," she said.

"In yesterday's sankalp rally, several lakh people from across the country participated. After witnessing their enthusiasm I can say with complete confidence that my party is ready in case early elections are held," she said.

The BSP leader said that her party was confident that it will perform well in Lok Sabha elections this time.
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