Monday, June 2, 2008

Maya, the party pooper

IN an Olympic year, it is quite appropriate that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati is living up to the Games motto which is, “It is not the winning but the participation that matters”. Since winning what is perhaps among the most spectacular victories in independent India’s history, the BSP has not won any election, though it is not due to lack of trying. In Gujarat, where the BSP’s chances of winning against the Modi juggernaut were about as much as the Muslim League’s, she put up 166 candidates. All barring three lost their deposits. In Karnataka she put up 217 candidates, all of whom lost. But is she distraught? Far from it. The nearly 5.7 lakh votes that the BSP candidates polled were mostly at the expense of the Congress, which in the process lost about 20 seats. Nothing makes Mayawati happier than seeing the Congress lose. Her efforts are aimed at ensuring that the social engineering formula –Dalit, Brahmin, Bania or DBB, an acronym that’s gaining currency – that worked so well in Uttar Pradesh now gets spread across the country. Next year (after the Congress rout in Karnataka, nobody is talking about elections this year) she is planning to put up over 500 candidates. While the candidate selection process is already on, she is also quietly poaching from, where else, the Congress! She has no need for more Dalits and has enough Brahmins lined up. Akhilesh Das and Naresh Aggarwal, both Banias, have already trickled over, but Iunderstand the floodgates are waiting to be unlocked. The BSP’s doors are wide open for anyone as long as he/ she is not aYadav or aThakur. While Rahul baba spends time with the poor and the downtrodden, here is this feisty woman who rose from among them spoiling his party. She has it in her to spoil the planned coronation also.

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