All gambits to draw Mayawati and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) into the Opposition circuit appear to be failing. The initial hope was that Mayawati would attend the Lalu Prasad-led Opposition rally last week. But Congress President Rahul Gandhi found the cooler climes of Norway more attractive than Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. Once Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav
confirmed he would be attending, Mayawati dropped the idea. There is also no clarity on the role of the Nationalist Congress Party, none of whose leaders attended the rally. Akhilesh Yadav
without his father, Mulayam Singh Yadav
(who has said the mahagathbandhan is not the right way forward) is nothing. The road to Opposition unity is harder than first thought.
Anything to win an argument
If the local media in Uttar Pradesh is to be believed, the Samajwadi Party (SP) will do anything to win an argument. Speaking in Azamgarh, considered a pocket borough of the party, former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav
said that his successor, Yogi Adityanath, should not mind if the SP
came to power next and decided to rename Gorakhpur
— so named after the religious sect that Adityanath belongs to. He also made a startling assertion: Most of the children who died due to lack of oxygen at the Gorakhpur
hospital were Muslim. This was presumably to highlight an “anti-minority bias” of the state government. Even to neutral observers, this was unfair and provocative. The SP
needs to be careful — claims of being misquoted cannot be a permanent refuge.