Breaking NewsHot NewsIndiaNews

Mayawati walks out of ‘mahagathbandhan’, outsmarts Rahul and Congress in perception and political astuteness

Minutes ahead of vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha on 17 April, 1999 Mayawati sprung a surprise on then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the entire lot of the ruling BJP. Till that morning and before entering the House, she had assured the support of five BSP MPs to the Vajpayee government, but when her turn came, she gave a brief speech and concluded by saying that her party would vote against the motion.

That stunned the treasury benches, because the scales had been tilted. The voting process began immediately after and rest is history — the Vajpayee government lost the vote of confidence by one vote. And in doing so, she proved that she along with her mentor Kanshi Ram was best practitioner of real politik, who could even startle the likes of Vajpayee, LK Advani and Pramod Mahajan. That incident also sent a lasting message about her: Don’t ever take Mayawati for granted.

Two decades later, the Congress under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership seems to have completely forgotten those lessons about her. It took her affectionate hugs with Sonia Gandhi in Bengaluru during the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as a done deal for a grand alliance with the BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and in Assembly elections where the Congress’ will would prevail over her. In a way, the party’s top brass appear to have taken her support for granted.

Rahul went around the country and abroad talking about the Mahagathbandhan or grand coalition in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (together accounting for 122 Lok Sabha seats) and claiming, on-record and off it that this alliance was going to finish off the BJP in next General Election. He even predicted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defeat in the Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

The Congress leaders conveniently forgot that she was a hard-boiled politician, who has risen through the ranks because of sheer personal grit and overpowering ambition. She is the one who keeps the other side on tenterhooks till the last minute. The bargain always has to be in her favour. If she makes a mistake or two, she learns from them and returns the favour in due course. Even in Bengaluru, the pictures of Mayawati and Sonia featured Rahul in the frame as a mere bystander, standing by his mother’s side without exchanging words or conveying positive body language with regional leaders. It was clear that she would accept Sonia as a partner even a leader of larger coalition, but wouldn’t accept Rahul as leader.

In one single shot, she punctured the hype around the ‘one nation, one Opposition to Modi and BJP’ Mahagathbandhan fostered by the Congress and the like-minded. Calling the Congress “casteist and communalist”, just as the BJP was for her, she concluded her press conference on Wednesday by saying, “One thing I want to make absolutely clear. Considering the Congress’ attitude, my party will not fight elections with the party at any cost. With this important announcement I am ending this media briefing.”

Related Articles

Back to top button