LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: BSP supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati’s mother Ramrati (92) passed away on Saturday after battling prolonged illness.
BSP general secretary Satish Mishra told reporters that the Dalit czarina’s mother was undergoing treatment at a Delhi hospital and died following a cardiac arrest. Her mother’s cremation is scheduled to take place in Delhi on Sunday.
The first to visit Mayawati’s residence was Congress UP general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, making it their first face-to-face interaction.
It assumes significance as BSP and Congress had burnt their bridges after six MLAs of Mayawati’s party defected to the the Grand Old Party in Rajasthan in 2020. Mayawati had accused CM Ashok Gehlot of sabotage, dragging the matter to the Supreme Court.
BSP also moved out of alliance with JDS and Congress, months after they formed government in Karnataka.
Mayawati has already been shuttling between Delhi and Lucknow as the state goes to polls early next year.
But many analysts say, Priyanka has pipped both regional satraps — SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati — during the recent flash-points in UP — Lakhimpur Kheri clash or custodial death of Dalit sanitation worker, Arun Valmiki, in hogging the limelight. Priyanka, accompanied by UP chief Ajay Kumar Lallu and MLA Mona Tiwari reached most places.
Even though Mayawati has kept her poll cards close to her chest, it’s anybody guess whether BSP would stich a pre-poll alliance after 2019 Lok Sabha debacle when the SP-BSP combine failed to make any impact.
While BSP had increased its tally from 0 in 2014 to 10 in 2019, SP’s tally remained the same at 5.
This time for 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections, Akhilesh has already scotched rumours of alliance with BSP or Congress even as he has joined hands with a smaller party like former BJP ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party led by O P Rajbhar.
The 2019 election results had shown that Narendra Modi’s charisma prevailed over the arithmetic of BSP-SP alliance. BJP’s vote share too had increased by 7.2 % in 2019 elections.
BJP is also projecting Baby Rani Maurya, a Jatav Dalit just like Mayawati, as its own Jatav face ahead of the 2022 UP polls.
BJP has been routinely planning Union home minister, Amit Shah’s whirlwind tour to key constituencies such as Varanasi, Lucknow, Azamgarh and Basti. He held a sabha or inaugrated projects at each place.
In Azamgarh, a university is coming up on 52-acre space, land for has been acquired. BJP government had promised in 2017 to set up a university in Azamgarh, considered to be a stronghold of SP.
Earlier, Shah on Friday addressed the Akhil Bharatiya Rajbhasha Sammelan in Varanasi.
“Central government has given special emphasis on ‘Rajbhasha’ (national language) under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership.
He further said that he loved Hindi language more than Gujarati, the regional language of his home state.
On the other hand, Congress had suffered a massive jolt in Uttar Pradesh, as party’s Brahmin face Jitin Prasada joined BJP.
Before joining BJP, Prasad had launched Brahmin Vhetna Parishad and met the families of the Brahmin community who were either murdered or alleged custodial deaths in late 2020.
The former Union Minister was projected as Congress’ Brahmin face in Uttar Pradesh.
Priyanka Gandhi, who launched party’s election campaign from Varanasi in October has been taking on the BJP government and divided the opposition.
According to Congress sources, Priyanka Gandhi is keen on contesting elections in the state all alone with no alliance.
The Congress contested 2017 assembly elections in UP in alliance with the Samajwadi Party. But the party’s fortunes only worsened.
Priyanka Gandhi has been visiting the state on routine basis to revive the party, which has been out of power since 1989.
Earlier while speaking to The New Indian, UP Congress leader Pramod Tiwari has said that Priyanka Gandhi will be the fave of the party in 2022 assembly polls, despite the fact that the UP Congress in-charge has said that she has no plans to contest in assembly elections.
The Congress has till date not announced any Chief Ministerial candidate in the state.
The Congress has also sent former Union Minister Salman Khurshid to Uttar Pradesh and RPN Singh to the state after experimenting on Prasada and former state Congeess chief Raj Babbar.
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