Nora Chopra

The Bahujan Samaj Party is heading for a split in the aftermath of the UP Assembly results.  Resentment is brewing within the BSP against the working style of its leader Mayawati who has done nothing to review  the dismal performance of the party. The rank and file is extremely demoralized. It is the third consecutive defeat of the party since 2012 assembly elections, followed by Lok Sabha elections in 2014   and now the Assembly elections in 2017. Mayawati may not have aligned with the BJP on record but actually she has been playing in the hands of Narendra Modi and the BJP. Some BSP workers are alleging that Mayawati has abandoned the BSP ideology on the basis of which Kanshiram had built the party. By aligning with the Brahmin community, she has overturned the ideology of the Dalits. Satish Mishra comes from the RSS background. His father was closely associated with RSS. Mishra was instrumental in striking the BJP-BSP alliance in 1995. And Mayawati became the CM for the first time with support of the BJP. Senior leaders close to the departed leader Kanshiram claim that  Mayawati totally ignored the MBC castes like kushwahas, sainis and nishads. Even her act of giving 100 plus tickets to Muslims is under fire. The charge is that she gave these tickets to basically upper caste Muslims and only to divide the Muslim votes, giving the BJP a walkover. The discontent against Mayawati began in 2014 when she left the entire Dalit space to Modi. 


The renowned writer Gita Mehta, sister of Odisha the  chief minister Naveen Patnaik, may be the stop gap CM of Odisha during the period her brother is out of the country for medical treatment. Naveen is extremely ill. If sources are to be believed, he is suffering from cirrhosis of liver and would be going to the US for a liver transplant and thereafter take rest for 10 months as per the doctor’s directive. Naveen is reportedly of the view that the transition of power should be smooth and he does not want that a situation like Tamil Nadu or Bihar should arise and his rival group would capture power in his absence. So he wants that his sister Gita Mehta, who is a well known writer internationally, would contest the assembly election after six months in place of one trusted MLA who would resign in favour of his sister. The said MLA would then be sent to Rajya Sabha. Naveen’s illness has come at a bad time for the BJD as there are rebels against the party leadership and the BJP is waiting for taking advantage of any opportunity that comes its way  to grab power in Odisha. The BJP has done well in the recent district level elections. Now the crucial issue of the BJD is whether Gita  will be acceptable to the party MLAs in place of Naveen as a stop-gap arrangement.


Samajwadi Party is once again heading for a crisis as the Yadav parivar in its hunger for power, is fighting among themselves again. Shivpal Yadav, the uncle of Akhilesh Yadav wants to be the chief of the split group which is likely to be named the Lok Dal and the symbol also would be the same of a hal jotta kisan with a pair of bullocks. This was the original symbol of Charan Singh’s Lok Dal. After Charan Singh, the symbol has been with Rajendra Choudhury and then after him with his son who is now with Mulayam Singh Yadav.  While Charan Singh’s son Ajit Singh’s party is called Rastriya Lok Dal, the buzz  in the state capital is that Shivpal party will support the BJP. His and Mulayam’s second son Prateek and his wife Aparna will join his party.  


Sharad Yadav is likely to emerge as a joint opposition candidate in a move to preempt the BJP and particularly Narendra Modi who can spring a surprise. Besides Venkaiah Naidu, the others in the race include Narendra Jadav, a dalit. The opposition wants to preempt Modi in case he proposes the name of Mulayam Singh Yadav. The Opposition is scared that if MSY’s name is announced by the Prime Minister, it will be difficult to oppose him. It is to counter the name of Mulayam that the Opposition is likely to come up with the name of Sharad Yadav. Some senior Congress leaders want a second term for the incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee. Serious discussions will start after the  budget session ends. (IPA)

Sunday, 9 April, 2017