Mainpuri: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Friday stunned political observers by sharing a stage with former archrival Mulayam Singh Yadav. Yadav and Mayawati address the crowd one after the other at a rally this afternoon. However, since the alliance of opposition parties that is challenging the BJP in Uttar Pradesh includes the RLD, the spectators looked for Ajit Singh who was nowhere to be found.
A source said that the rally in Deoband is the reason Ajit Singh is miffed. Reportedly, he had been asked to remove his shoes before ascending on the stage.
When the Friday rally began, three chairs were observed on the stage, with early vistors speculating that the third was meant for Ajit Singh. But the RLD chief never turned up.
Nevertheless, the unity of the BSP and Samajwadi Party to challenge the political giant BJP has still could not be stripped of the surprise element. Twenty-four years ago, the same coalition to stop BJP had ended in a disaster, referred to as the ‘guesthouse scandal’.
A dark history
On 2 June 1995, the BSP announced its withdrawal of support, stunning the Mulayam Singh government. The combination of the two parties collapsed. The State government was reduced to a minority.
After the State government was on the verge of falling, a series of defections saved the Mulayam Yadav government. But before that, angry SP MLAs and activists reached the State Guest House located in Meerabai Marg of Lucknow on the very day that the BSP had withdrawn support to the State government and abused Mayawati. Some say she was molested, too.
Patch-up now, Ajit Singh notwithstanding
Even as Ajit Singh stayed away from the event, what saved the day for the so-called mahagathbandhan was Akhilesh Yadav’s request to Mayawati to take the seat between those of his father Mulayam and his own.
Yadav Sr said, “I welcome Mayawati to this rally, We must respect her as she stood with us through thick and thin during tough times.”
Mayawati sought votes for Mulayam in this joint rally in Mainpuri. Mayawati stressed how the relationship withstood the guest house scandal and still stood strong while Mulayam Yadav urged the people to always respect Mayawati.
Mayawati spoke on Friday about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that his concerns for the backward classes were fake. She called Mulayam the true backward leader. She went to the extent of saying the current prime minister was a fake OBC, unlike Mulayam.
Mulayam Singh not a 'fake OBC' like PM Modi, says Mayawati
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) April 19, 2019
The once-bitter rivalry between Mayawati and Mulayam has now turned into a mutually supportive relationship, with a call for votes for the alliance and appeal for mutual respect.
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