LUCKNOW: Serving another blow to the unified efforts of beleaguered opposition, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati decided to skip the Maharally of non-BJP parties called by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Patna on August 27. It is being seen as a major jolt to the bid to stitch an anti-BJP mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar parted ways with RJD and Congress in the state and joined hands with the NDA.
Highly-placed sources in the BSP confirmed Mayawati’s decision against attending Patna maharally, however, they were not able to tell if she would send any of the senior blue brigade leaders as her representative to Patna or not.Amidst the rumblings going on in JD(U) which stands vertically split in the aftermath of Nitish’s decision to join the bandwagon led by PM Modi and senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav charting a different course, Mayawati’s decision may come as the dampener for the rest of the opposition parties including Congress, Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamul Congress, Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party who were gearing up for the show of opposition’s strength in Patna under Lalu Yadav to check the surge of BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The need to toughen her stance arose in the wake of a poster released from BSP’s twitter handle announcing Mayawati’s Patna plans. The poster featured Mayawati along with all the opposition leaders including Akhilesh, Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Yadav, Lalu Yadav along with his tainted son Tejaswi. It came as a shocker to scores in the political arena. The poster raised many an eye brows as it featured arch rival SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. The poster had a narrative that for the cause of social justice, it was imperative for the opposition to unite.
Without losing time, Mayawati rushed to rubbish the tweet saying that the party did not have an official twitter handle and it believed in announcing party policies only through press notes. She also contradicted the slogan on the poster—Bahujan Hitay—Bahujan Sukhay (Welfare of downtrodden, happiness of downtrodden) by claiming that her party always talked about ‘Sarvajan’ instead of just ‘Bahujan’.
Mayawati’s stand, meanwhile, disappointed the opposition who was seeing an opportunity as Akhilesh Yadav had also agreed to be part of the Patan Maharally and was ready to share the dais with her.