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Home > India > News > Columnists > Nazarwala

In-hurry Mayawati plans fast lane to Delhi

June 03, 2008

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Till recently, a vision that pleased Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati no end was the sight of her own life-sized statue.

There was this statue that she had installed at a prominent site in Lucknow about 45 days ago, but on Sunday night she got it removed. Self-confident and power-drenched Mayawati does not hesitate to personally garland her own statue, or to have it removed if she thinks it is shorter than that of her mentor, Kanshi Ram.

That statue was an innovation of sorts. At least, so believed her IAS sycophants.

Such deviations apart, our spinster in pink is aggressively ambitious. Only the Prime Minister's Office, nothing else will do for her. Ruthless to the core, she does not forget nor forgive.

Mayawati has a superb grasp of the multiple caste configurations, the subtle permutations and combinations of Uttar Pradesh. She always calculates, manipulates and exploits them to her advantage -- be it politicians or the pliable state bureaucracy led by the IAS cadre.

She couches her crude caste obsession cleverly and allows the political pundits to call it social engineering.

Dalits alone cannot help their beloved behenji get into the PMO. Therefore, the practical politician that she is, Mayawati launches her own confusing brand of social engineering of the opportunists who live and die for power.

Brahmins dominate UP politics, at least cerebrally. Mayawati has started propping them up in so-called seats of power. Satish Mishra and his Brahmin brood of relatives have been suddenly put up as showpieces of power. Chief Secretary Prashant Mishra was a sop to the Brahmin lobby in the IAS.

Don't miss: The woman with a fascinating personal story and a unique political style

***

Having hoodwinked UP's Brahmins, she has turned her attention towards the other dominant and influential castes/communities.

Her unflinching focus, of course, is on the forthcoming parliamentary election.

The banias have always craved for power, so this caste cat is playing with the bania mice.

Akhilesh Das, Naresh Agarwal and many others were cleverly nurtured and encouraged to ditch their parties and join her. She has inducted Atul Gupta, another bania, to act as UP's chief secretary.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is nervous, apprehending an erosion of its traditional bania financial backers.

The Congress is always on her hit-list. The next big catch will be the powerful Thakur lobby. Remember that ek din ka Congress mukhya mantri, Jagdambika Pal Singh? Do not be surprised if he and many Thakurs from different parties aspiring for UP's member of Parliament seats jump onto the overloaded BSP bandwagon one of these days.

Such tricks and temptations suit her all the more. They further bolster the hallucination that Mayawati has changed for the better. The myopic fools!

***

The Muslims are a confused lot. They are disillusioned by the Congress and the Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav. They increasingly yearn for/look towards Mayawati. But she seems to have an inherent distrust of Muslims. No wonder Vishwa Hindu Parishad strategists continue wooing their Dalit (Hindu) behenji.

Politically, the BSP supremo's current need is to ensnare UP's sizeable Muslim community. She is trying her darnedest, but her Naseemuddin Siddiqui is not a representative Muslim with an all-India stature. He is simply a loyal hatchet man who can take care of her financial manipulations. Nothing more.

She messed up by sacrificing her prize catch, the suave and brilliant Supreme Court advocate Rashid Alvi. Rashidbhai could have herded the Muslim masses more effectively and persuasively. Unfortunately, his clandestine meeting with Sonia Gandhi [Images] proved to be his undoing. Peeved, Mayawati booted him out.

This loss is irreparable on the Muslim voters front. It is hard to find the resourceful Rashid Alvi's substitute before the parliamentary election.

***

In Maya Raj, roadside ruffians all over UP have been set right. Samajwadi Party goons have slunk away into hiding; and many put behind bars.

Communal peace prevails in the ever-turbulent and communally hypersensitive state. Students, farmers, labour and other agitations just do not exist in UP these days. Mayawati has administered most strongly in calling the bluff of the likes of Mahendra Singh Tikait.

This is no mean achievement in a state where the BJP and Mulayam Singh, the VHP's Mahant Adityanath and Islamic fundamentalists operate to dominate.

She did not hesitate even once in having a party MP arrested. Actions speak louder than words.

The average UP citizen has heaved a sigh of relief. There is a relatively better sense of security all around, and men and women feel reassured and venture forth confidently. Don't believe jaundiced stories filed by the irresponsible television troopers.

The message sent by Chief Minister Mayawati to the babus, the tehsildars, and darogas, who have been effectively activated in the field, is loud and clear.

Except for a couple of her proteges who also happen to be goons, all other goons are scared of the law. The public has understandingly reconciled to such a lesser evil.

***

Responsive and responsible corruption appears to have been institutionalised. Bribes are demanded, but the promised work gets done. Single-window corruption has replaced the scattered greedy grabbers. If, for some reason, the desired results are not delivered, then the money is returned in full. Believe it or not, but this seems to be true.

No one dare collect chauth without tacit concurrence. No major deal escapes hawk-like vigilance. One minister learnt it the hard way when he tried to evade this. He would have been booted out, but a powerful relative's intervention has saved him for now.

Her nondescript watchdogs have systematically infiltrated everywhere and are well entrenched. They religiously keep behenji updated.

***

The BSP brand name and a solid and committed 15 per cent Dalit vote-bank, for sure, has a heavy price tag attached. No other leader in the country can command a massive guaranteed support of voters the way Mayawati does.

Henceforth, candidates from the scheduled castes will be spared from paying the party ticket tax. The consequent revenue loss will be obviously borne by less powerful general castes candidates. Some social engineering and justice this!

The financial burden will be shifted to all those non-scheduled caste 'leaders' who are gravitating towards the BSP to further their political ambitions. Opportunists and defectors will be fleeced. They deserve it, don't they?

***

The roads in UP are a nightmare. This infrastructure problem has attracted her attention. Her past travel experiences in America impressed and inspired her.

Mayawati, a strong-willed administrator, takes quick decisions. Recently, she sanctioned the Taj Expressway, which will drastically cut the travel time from Delhi to Agra [Images] to a mere two hours. Not to mention the spanking new international airport that will come up midway between Delhi and Agra on the Taj Expressway.

Her father has been quick to sense the potential in the project and snapped up around 80 bighas of prime land near the Taj Expressway. He too has become an entrepreneur of sorts.

Not resting on this solitary Taj Expressway laurel, the chief minister has envisaged a much longer Ganga Expressway. An eight lane expressway running over 1,100 km, from Greater NOIDA in western UP to Ballia on the state's eastern border. This will definitely prove a great boon to the people of UP in times to come.

With this masterstroke, Mayawati has not only shown the foresight of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but has taken on the green-eyed UP Opposition.

Mayawati is convinced she is prime minister material. Are you?


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