After her attempts to attract Brahmins and Dalits, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati is now all set to woo Muslims, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.
According to sources in the party, the BSP chief plans a show of strength in Lucknow on Sunday. "Members of the three communities will converge at the Rama Bai Ambedkar grounds in unprecedented numbers," said sources.
"We have been working for this rally for quite some time and we are confident that the call given by us will draw lakhs of party supporters from these communities," said a party spokesman closely supervising the arrangements for what is being described as a "historic rally".
What Mayawati has in store remains a mystery, but there is speculation that she is likely to make some big political announcement on Sunday.
Preparations for the rally have been afoot for almost a month now, and with the final touches being given, a large part of the state capital has been painted in BSP's blue hue. The nearly 12 km long route from the chief minister's residence to the venue is flanked by huge blue hoardings bearing Mayawati's portrait with tiny insets of other BSP icons like Kanshi Ram, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule and Narain Guru.
Each hoarding bears the standard format with the only difference being the footnote, which has the name of the sponsor - invariably a ruling party minister or some party functionary. For a change, some of them have been allowed to print their own pictures something otherwise banned in the highly regimented party.
Interestingly, each of the hoardings seek to give a call to all BSP followers to support the rally with their 'tan, man and dhan' (body, mind and money).
Evidently, the sponsors have left no stone unturned to drive home the message of the rally to the targeted communities. Even the names of the different communities are written in the colours usually representing those communities. Thus it was no surprise that Muslims were painted in green, kshatriyas in red and vaishyas in yellow.
The December 19 rally comes close on the heels of last month's dalit-brahmin 'bhai-chara sammellan' that drew tremendous crowds.
Heavy police deployment has been planned from Saturday evening, as batches of BSP supporters from different corners of the state have already started arriving.
According to Lucknow DIG police D K Thakur, "nearly 10,000 policemen will be on duty to regulate the crowds for tomorrow's (Sunday's) rally."
"We have booked half a dozen trains to bring our party men from different places while many more will arrive here by buses, trucks, tractor-trolleys and other means of transport," said a party source.