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Maya to re-use magic formula in Gujarat?
Aasha Khosla in New Delhi | October 16, 2007 13:28 IST
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati is wooing rebel leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to put to test once again her winning formula -- a reworked caste tie-up -- in these election-bound states.
Meanwhile, Mayawati's confidante and the Brahmin mascot of her party, Satish Chandra Mishra, is quietly working on building the party in neighbouring Rajasthan where the BSP is eyeing a major share of seats in the elections due in November 2008.
"We are in touch with the rebels from the BJP and Congress in both the states (Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh)," sources close to Mayawati said. Last month, during her visit to Vadodara, Mayawati had appointed Nalin Bhat to head the BSP in the state. Bhat is seen as a daring politician, the first one to call Narendra Modi a 'dictator.'
Careful in picking leaders for her nascent party set-up, Mayawati has also roped in Vijay Mankotia, a former minister, to head her party in Himachal Pradesh. Though Mankotia said he would not contest the election, he has been holding rallies even since Mayawati visited the state last month.
"We are hoping to get a foothold in these states this assembly election and then prepare the ground for general election," Mankotia said.
Mankotia had fallen out with Virbhadhra Singh after he raised allegation of corruption and favouritism against the chief minister.
"Unlike Kashi Ram's style, Mayawati is keen to take only established and well know leaders into the party fold," a confidante of the BSP chief said.
Mayawati has told her party leaders to frame a campaign on the achievement of the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh in enforcing reservation in private sector for the economically-weaker, with assured favours to the Dalits and Muslims.