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Home > India > News > Columnists > Nazarwala

Mayawati's Sahara demolition is only a trailer

June 26, 2008

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Abhijit Sarkar is very angry with Mayawati, the powerful chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Sarkar is Saharashri Subrata Roy's most trusted confidant and longtime strategist. A veteran of many a Sahara battle, he is currently positioned as Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar.

Agreed, he is less close to Saharashri than O P Srivastava is. But certainly, he is closer to Saharashri than Amar Singh and Amitabh Bachchan [Images] are in the multifarious Sahara operations.

Sarkar was fuming at the obedient Lucknow Development Authority officials the other day when they dared to set foot on Sahara Shahar's claimed property. So what if Sahara had encroached on a few thousand metres of government land? How else can Sahara City Homes be sold to investors by tempting hoardings promising 'two years zero EMI'?

Sarkar squarely accused Mayawati's officials and shouted, 'The officers of LDA, who are under the political diktat of their bosses, have with extreme high-handedness demolished portions of a few structures of the 15-year-old Sahara Shahar just to connect their dream project of Ambedkar Park with Gomti Barrage.'

Who is Sarkar referring to as 'bosses'? Why has he cleverly dragged in Mayawati's favourite dream project of Ambedkar Park? Under whose directions was he acting? Does an encroachment automatically get regularised simply because it is a 15-year-old tale of neglect, rather connivance, by LDA staff?

Is encroaching and building Sahara City without any approval from the Competent Authority not 'high-handedness' on Saharashri's part? When the Lucknow Development Authority's conscientious officials remove those illegal Sahara encroachments, Sarkar cribs about 'extreme high-handedness.'

In Mayawati's Raj she is the one and only boss in UP today. Sarkar's insinuation is, obviously, directly aimed at Mayawati.

To commemorate Babasaheb Ambedkar's memory, Mayawati lavished crores of rupees on her childhood dream project of an Ambedkar Park in Lucknow. Her Dalit followers are threatening to withdraw their Sahara deposits en masse as a mark of substantial support to Dalit devi Mayawati and their Ambedkar Park.

Sahara Kartavya Council members and other Saharashri hawks keep levelling charges against the chief minister. They question her disproportionate assets and snub Saharashri's critics by asking whether Mayawati too has not grabbed prime land in Lucknow.

Saharashri was thrilled to see his proteges' performance.

Not so Mayawati.

She has seen through the Sahara game. Behind Sarkar, she has seen her bitter enemy Mulayam Singh Yadav's financial supporter and political mastermind, Saharashri Subrata Roy.

The Sahara Shahar case hurts because Saharashri and Mulayam's advocate Virendra Bhatia got judicial support against the Iron Lady's government. Mulayam's trusted ex-advocate general Bhatia thundered against Mayawati in the Sahara Shahar case, vociferously supporting Saharashri's cause.

That was the last straw. A desperate Mayawati rushed to the Supreme Court to vindicate her government's stand.

Mayawati no longer swallows the Sahara bluff, suggesting that Saharashri has distanced himself from Mulayam, Amar and Amitabh.

Earlier, a euphoric Mayawati forgave Saharashri for not calling on her when she took over as chief minister for the fourth time. She had expected him to show her the courtesy of visiting her personally as it was a sensitive and delicate matter.

Mayawati never forgets nor forgives. She has now braced herself for the climax in this saga.

First, she got her own member of Parliament Umakant Yadav arrested. Next, she got her own minister Jamuna Prasad Nishad put behind bars.

Over the past few months she has carefully built up her image of a tough, no-nonsense administrator. Someone who means business and does not hesitate to put even her own party MPs/ministers behind bars.

The charge of political vendetta will, therefore, not hold water when Mayawati gives the go ahead to round up the likes of Sahara director Amar Singh, Shivpal Yadav and others.

The demolition of Sahara Shahar's encroachments is symbolic. The real assault will be executed at the right psychological and emotional moment, in true Mayawati style. Make no mistake.


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