Mayawati back in spirits

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former chief minister Mayawati has got back her old spirits and energy after getting a clean chit from the Supreme Court in the disproportionate asset case. She has swung into action with renewed vigour for rejuvenating the party to take up the challenge of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.

SP has already taken the lead in the preparations for the Lok Sabha polls and the SP national president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son chief minister Akhilesh Yadav have organised series of meetings and have taken early steps for selection of candidates for the 2014 polls.

 Mayawati does not want to be left behind. She is taking advantage of the present confusion in the Congress and in fighting within Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to emerge as the only credible alternative to the SP in the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

As a part of the election strategy, BSP supremo held a meeting of her party MLAs, MPs, state coordinators and announced the change in the state leadership. Mayawati replaced state president Swami Prasad Maurya by Ram Achal Rajbhar. Interestingly, Rajbhar has been facing inquiry from Lok Ayukt on the charges of corruption including disproportionate assets, misuse of office as minister and land grabbing. Mayawati found the charges had prima facie basis and she denied a ticket to Rajbhar in the last assembly elections. But now, the same person has been given the responsibility of reviving the fortune of the BSP by challenging the SP in the next Lok Sabha polls.

With the appointment of Rajbhar, Mayawati is also making inroads in most backward community. Significantly Rajbhar had been minister in all the four previous regimes of Mayawati. Swami Prasad is already the leader of Opposition with cabinet rank so he has to be relieved of the charge of state president. But Maurya has now been given the important task of all the reserved constituencies. Mayawati made it clear that Rajbhar would tour the entire state and would also start making preparations of zonal meetings.

While addressing the recent meeting of party MPs, MLAs and other important leaders, Mayawati asked them to prepare for Lok Sabha polls so that the BSP plays a decisive role at the Centre.

After getting reprieve from Supreme Court in her disproportionate assets cases, Mayawati thanked all party MPs, MLAs and others leaders for supporting her in the time of crisis. She said that the party ruling at the Centre at that time was responsible for filing bogus cases against her out of political vendetta.

But Mayawati made it clear in the meeting that 90 per cent of tickets for 80 Lok Sabha seats had been finalised and remaining would also be shortlisted after discussions. BSP supremo asked party leaders and workers to work hard to make the political climate favorable to BSP candidates to ensure big win in the 2014 polls. Mayawati made it clear that party would bring all castes and communities to the BSP fold to ensure maximum number seats from UP in Lok Sabha.

Rajbhar, who was incharge of Uttarakhand, promised to Mayawati and other party leaders that he would mobilise all resources to  ensure a good number of seats in the Lok Sabha from UP.

Political observers feel that it would be wrong to underestimate the BSP, which has 20 members in the Lok Sabha. Although the BSP did not contest local bodies polls on the party symbol, it could ensure a large number of independents as corporators and zila parishad members and the mayor in Allahabad. IPA
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