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Home > India > News > Columnists > Nazarwala

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Price for Samajwadi support = Oust Mayawati

July 14, 2008

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What is Mayawati really like?

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has powerful foes gunning for her. They want her to be forced out of power prematurely.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images] just does not like Mayawati challenging her. Rahulbaba wants to defeat Mayawati on her home turf. Their confidant-cum-advisor on UP affairs, Rajiv Shukla, simply cannot abide the Dalit devi .

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party are her sworn enemies.

Their friend Subrata Roy Sahara is smarting under Mayawati's recent demolition drive against his Sahara Shahar in Lucknow. No one had dared to challenge his company's activities until now. How dare Mayawati?

Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh have earned a temporary respite thanks to their nuclear deal googly, which has stumped everyone including Mayawati.

A tough political situation besets the nation. In the wake of the Left's decision to withdraw support to the Manmohan Singh [Images] government, the following signals in the air cannot be dismissed lightly.

Today, Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh are in a very strong bargaining position thanks to the Congress's weakness in the Parliament numbers game.

Amar Singh is a very loyal friend of Saharashri Subrata Roy and the Bachchans.

The Sahara Samay news television channel has already launched a subtle, yet consistent, attack on the deteriorating law and order situation in UP. In an exclusive interview on July 7, Amar Singh attacked the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Reports of differences between Amar Singh and Saharashri Subrata Roy are not true. Mulayam Singh chuckles each time this topic is broached.

That Amar Singh has swallowed his pride for the time being does not mean he has forgiven the Italian lady. He will hit back at the opportune moment.

And that moment will come when Sonia's 'weakness' -- Rahulbaba -- sits down to bargain over UP's Lok Sabha seats.

The Samajwadi Party duo will squeeze many concessions from the United Progressive Alliance -- the shelving of Mulayam Singh's assets-related CBI inquiry, the RBI's ongoing investigation of Sahara India, security cover for Amar Singh, etc, etc.

What is perhaps not yet openly demanded is the Mayawati government's ouster.

That will be the last pound of flesh the Samajwadi Party duo wish to extract for the support they are giving the dying Congress party. Fortuitously, the Congress too wants a similar outcome, viz, Mayawati's ouster.

The Congress party is in shambles in UP and hopes to perform better by aligning with the Samajwadi Party. Relations between Mayawati and Sonia Gandhi have soured badly.

The Bharatiya Janata Party too is struggling to make a comeback in UP. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad flexed their muscle recently to demonstrate their strength over the Amarnath shrine land transfer issue.

Mayawati is the common target for all of them. She is growing into a bigger threat, cleverly nibbling away at their traditional vote-banks.

The Congress and Samajwadi Party have bought time to execute their plan to oust Mayawati.

UP is a notoriously hypersensitive state with a long history of communal riots. A situation may arise where parties vie with each other to extract maximum political advantage, even if it leads to a communal divide.

Polarisation is the name of the game. The Muslims may go against the BJP. But the Hindus can be made to veer around to the BJP.

Understandable, since the BJP has lost credibility in UP and is desperate to somehow regain power in UP/India.

Law and order will prove to be the first casualty/opportunity to topple a democratically elected popular government.

Whatever be the ostensible trigger, the eruption of communal violence seems almost certain.

Once that happens, can the demand for President's rule in UP be far behind? In time, just before the parliamentary election early next year. Of course, all in the name of peace.

Prime ministerial aspirant Mayawati will need a miracle to save her chief minister's chair.

President's rule in UP is a distinct possibility by this year-end. I predict parliamentary elections along with assembly elections in UP around March. By then, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla is expected to be in place and do the needful as desired by his Congress mentors.

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