Maya's googly stumps BSP, rivals alike
Sanjay Singh Posted: Jun 09, 2010 at 0339 hrs
Lucknow Chief Minister Mayawati's decision to not let her party BSP
take part in Assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls till 2012 has put both her
partymen and the Opposition at their wits' end.
Bypolls are regarded as a test of a government's popularity. With the
ruling party staying away, the Opposition parties wonder who will they
fight. BSP leaders, on the other hand, are left guessing what the
party would gain by the decision.
Mayawati, who made the announcement after the BSP's victory in the
Domariyaganj bypoll on Monday, said the BSP would now concentrate on
the next Assembly elections, due in 2012. Bypolls for Lakhimpur and
Nidhauli Kalan Assembly seats are likely to be held soon, necessitated
by the deaths of two SP MLAs, Kaushal Kishore and Anil Yadav.
BSP insiders say Mayawati took the decision because bypolls disrupt
her normal work schedule since political preparations begin much in
advance. Also, since most of the ministers are involved in the
campaign, it also affects the government.
Since the last Lok Sabha elections, held in May 2009, the state has
seen 16 Assembly bypolls. As many as four of these were held in August
11 in November and now the one in Domariyaganj.
Many in the party, however, feel this may prove counter-productive. If
a political party stays away from elections, it may send out a wrong
signal to the people, said a BSP leader. Besides, what will the BSP
workers do at the time of bypolls?
As for the Opposition, it's yet to gather its wits. "Who will we
target in the bypolls?" said Samajwadi Party spokesman Mohan Singh,
though he said he doubted Mayawati would stick to her decision. "Wait
and watch. I think she would field her candidates," he said.
BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi was puzzled too. "How can she
abstain from bypolls? She is first accountable to the people of the
state. She cannot stay away from bypolls on the plea that she wants to
spend her time strengthening her party."
State Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had had many a
skirmish with the BSP chief in the past, doubted Mayawati's
intentions. "She has no confidence to face people. You can't use same
tricks in all the bypolls. The Opposition parties are now fully aware
of her tricks and are also in position to counter them."
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