Friday, July 13, 2007

Cong supporting Mayawati on Stadium land-grab

The Congress just does not learn. With Mayawati starting to show her true colors, with a transparent land grab that had to be stayed by the court, the Congress is on her side. They need to have as many people as possible on their side for the Presidential poll, and hence this tactic of supporting her. But it seems like doing political suicide. Mayawati seeks the support of Dalits, Muslims, and Brahmins; this was the original voting base of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and other states. Hence for the Congress to support Mayawati means that they have cut off their own voting base and any hopes of revival in UP. In addition, the BSP is liable to take this same vote bank to other states such as Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and so on, eating away at the Congress vote base everywhere.

Lust for patronage threatens Congress’s revival in UP, with its leaders bending over backwards to appease BSP supremo Mayawati, even as it appeared that the Dalit czarina was milking Sonia Gandhi’s dependence on her. When Congress could have easily watched Mayawati’s tightrope walk from a corner, the voluntary help extended by UPOA has alerted the central leadership, which, however, wants to keep mum till presidential polls.
Congress failed to emerge as a serious rival to SP despite its untiring efforts. BJP also came a cropper for the same reason, leaving the field open to a highly motivated Mayawati to stamp herself as the sole challenger. Congress insiders attributed the party’s failure to pull itself back on the rails in UP, despite Rahul Gandhi leading the charge, on its state leadership’s failure to project itself as an opposition party.

Same issue. The politics of patronage are so strong in states like UP that people will do whatever is required to keep on enjoying the fruits of power, political morals be damned. Of course, this simply means that the long term plan of a Congress revival in the state is all the more difficult.
And of course, any hopes of a changed Mayawati coming to power this time are gone. Already there are numerous stories of transfers, naked requests for money, and now this. Notwithstanding the fact that Uttar Pradesh does not really excellent sports facilities, Mayawati, in a middle of the night operation ordered the emptying of the stadium in Lucknow and its inclusion in the Ambedkar Park, sports couldn't matter more. And the reasons for doing this, some flimsy reasons. And except for the media and parties like the BJP, other parties would not utter a word. The left were conspicuous by their silence. It was only the high court that came to the rescue of the stadium and budding sportsmen by staying the operation of the Mayawati Government. My fear is that the next 5 years will see many more such land-grabs and other outrageous happenings committed by Mayawati.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 2:18 AM