Published: May 21, 2010 20:25 IST | Updated: May 21, 2010 20:25 IST
LUCKNOW, May 21, 2010
Manmohan's dinner invite puts Mayawati in the soup
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's invite to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati to a dinner he is hosting to commemorate one year of the
UPA-II government has created a piquant situation for the Bahujan
Samaj Party. For, it is gearing itself to stage a State-wide public
protest (janhit andolan) the same day, Saturday, against the economic
policies of the Congress-led government at the Centre. The protest
programme was finalised about a month ago by the Chief Minister
Dr. Singh has invited all UPA allies and those who have extended
outside support to his government. Ms. Mayawati and Samajwadi Party
president Mulayam Singh fall in the second category. The SP chief, who
is in Kolkata in connection with the national executive meet of his
party, has expressed his inability to attend the dinner.
There is no official word till Friday on whether or not the Chief
Minister will attend or send a representative to the dinner, the
invitation was received a couple of days ago. Officials in the Chief
Minister's office here remain tight-lipped, as were BSP sources.
As the invite clearly mentions one year of the UPA-II government, the
BSP ranks see the dinner party as a political gathering of its allies
and supporters. As it is not an official function, Ms. Mayawati is
under no obligation to attend, say sources.
Dr. Singh's invitation to Ms. Mayawati assumes significance in the
backdrop of the BSP's support to the UPA government to defeat the
BJP-sponsored cut motion in the Lok Sabha last month. Ms. Mayawati
then said her party wanted to thwart communal forces coming to power
at the Centre.
Members of the SP staged a walkout when the motion was put to vote.
Ms. Mayawati's support notwithstanding, both the BSP and the Congress
were quick to dispel suggestions of any bonhomie between the parties.
For, each wants to score points over the other ahead of the 2012
Ms. Mayawati blamed the UPA government for the State's backwardness
and even saw in it a Congress-designed conspiracy.
During a visit to her constituency, Rae Bareli, on May 17, UPA
chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the Mayawati
government was not putting Central funds to judicious. The very next
day, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi predicted the defeat of
the BSP at the hands of his party in 2012. Addressing a rally in
Mirzapur district, he rejected the possibility of an understanding
between the two parties.
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