A 2003 Rediff reminder of UP politics: hope it’s now behind us!
In a way, Mayavati’s victory is a sign that factional politics is not liked by people there. Why?
The reason is this time BSP had fielded candidates from amongst Brahmins and upper caste Hindus, as well as from Muslims. Which means the profile of elected members of BSP cuts across caste and religion.
This according to me is a very welcome sign. Especially so since BJP is virtually decimated despite once again rabidly displaying the Hindu card. As of this poll, it is clear people in UP have seen through BJP’s game. The latter’s vote share too has sharply nosedived.
Mayavati’s attempt to rise above caste and religion is in effect a projection of a pan-Indian culture of Congress. Noticeably, Congress hasn’t suffered as badly as BJP and SP, which also shows what the people of UP want.
From the decisive outcome of the poll, what translates is that Congress and BSP are in fact complementary to each other, though they are not allies yet. Since from past experience it is difficult to predict how BSP will proceed in future, therefore whether BSP and Congress will work together cannot be said now.
However, being an astute politician that she has turned out to be, Mayavati knows she cannot deviate from the way she has projected her party in this election.
Congress’ only consolation is that after a long gap of over 2 decades, the UP turf is at last fertile to sow the seed of inclusive politics, instead of its clueless grappling with caste and religion based politics it is never comfortable with.