LUCKNOW: Emotional gestures spoke louder than words at the SP-BSP mega rally in Mainpuri when two regional titans — SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati — shared the stage at the historic Christian College grounds in the Yadav heartland, leaving their over two and a half decade animosity behind them on Friday.
A frail but not fragile Mulayam, 79, on one hand, made an emotional vote appeal for himself, on the other, he exhorted his cadre to safeguard the pride and prestige of ‘Behan Mayawati ji’.
As soon as ‘Netaji’, as Mulayam is popularly known among his supporters, extended gratitude to the ”generous” BSP chief for coming to Manipuri to seek support in his favour, the decades-long dissent, differences and derision dissipated in no time.
The bonhomie was palpable, which was unimaginable till recently, among the cheering cadre of the grand alliance amid slogans like—Sapa, basapa aye hai, nayee ummedein layee hai (SP and BSP have come with new hopes) and jsika jalwa kayam hai, uska naam Mulayam hai -- with Mayawati reciprocating each word uttered by Netaji with an ear-to-ear grin.
“I greet and welcome Mayawati ji and I am highly obliged and grateful to her that she has come to Mainpuri in my support,” said Mulayam. “Yeh mera aadesh hai ki Mayawatiji ke samman ki sada raksha kijiyega (This is my order to you to safeguard Mayawatiji’ prestige always),” Mulayam exhorted his cadre while addressing his first ever rally in this poll season.
The SP patriarch, who was believably reluctant to join the mega show till the last moment but was finally convinced by son Akhilesh, ended his brief speech on an emotional note. He appealed his supporters to ensure his victory in his last electoral battle with a record and historic mandate.
The stage was then handed over to equally courteous Mayawati who heaped praises on Mulayam as the ‘dharti putra.’ She sought support and votes for Mulayam calling him a true leader who had served the backwards and down trodden throughout his life with all sincerity and genuineness unlike PM Narendra Modi whom she called a ‘fake backward’ and jumlebaz.
However, the BSP chief couldn’t help bringing the ‘guest house episode of June 2, 1995’ back to the discourse.
Claiming that she had already done a lot of explaining over clinching a tie-up with SP despite guest house episode, Mayawati said” “Sometimes for the national and social cause, some difficult decisions have to be taken.”
In order to neutralise the impact of Shivpal’s ‘rebellion,’ Mayawati, in no uncertain terms, called Mulayam an unchallenged torch bearer of backwards in the region as he put his entire life to their service.
However, the major portion of Mayawati’s speech was focused on the failures of Modi
government and the Congress rule of seven decades during which she claimed the national parties did not do anything for the betterment of backwards and downtrodden.
She condemned Congress approach of distributing cash to poor under their NYAY scheme
saying if a government ruled by her party would come at Centre, she would ensure jobs in government and private sector to poor and deprived instead of helping them with cash.
Meanwhile, Akhilesh, who now hold full command on the Samajwadi Party with ailing
and old Mulayam making way for Gen X and Shivpal having parted ways, ensured smooth conductance of the mega show in Mainpuri.
Seeking support for his father, Akhilesh launched an attack on Modi government over joblessness, farmers’ distress, lack of development. He exhorted the alliance supporters to uproot Modi government.
Hence the tie-up cobbled up by the SP and BSP in January, this year, was accomplished in Mainpuri on Friday with the blessing of Mulayam who had been airing his dissent over the pact often openly.