Mayawati's 'split UP' gambit has not cooked

Mayawati's 'split UP' gambit has not cooked

Not one party has brought up the division of the states in their campaign

When Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati tried to ‘play the UP division card’  ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections, it seemed like it would ‘overshadow’ all other issues and become a poll plank which forced all other major players to support the move or  face the wrath of the electorate.

The ‘split card’ which provided for the division of India’s biggest state into four smaller states, ‘Poorvanchal’ (eastern region), ‘Paschimanchal’ (western region), ‘Avadh’ (central region) and Bundelkhand, was thought to be Mayawati’s ‘trump card’ and the party seemed to feel that it would help the government fight the ‘anti-incumbency’ and that their party would be able to reap rich electoral dividends.

It was this expectation that prompted Mayawati to get the proposal adopted by the State Assembly before it was sent to the Centre for necessary action.

The move was termed a ‘hasty decision’ or ‘political gimmick’. Mayawati also tried to score more political points by accusing the UPA government, which had sought details on key issues pertaining to the division, with deliberately trying to delay the decision, portraying the Congress as a ‘villain’.

Now, barely a month later, when major parties have already plunged into high decibel campaigning, the ‘split’ move seems to have been downgraded and no one, not even the BSP has brought it up. Only the Lok Manch, an outfit founded by the expelled Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh has been trying to make it an issue in the Assembly elections.

“Large scale sacking of ministers by Mayawati and the revolt by many senior BSP leaders and ministers relegated the division issue on the back burner,” said a senior state BSP leader.  

“She should not have sacked so many ministers within such a short period,” he asserted, adding “The Congress, which was looking to stump Mayawati on this issue, came up with the reservation issue to woo the minorities and Rahul Gandhi continued to harp on the alleged financial irregularities in the implementation of MNREGS and NRHM.”

The indifference of the people also contributed to the issue being forgotten. “The issue has not been able to impact the common people...it appears that the majority of the population do want smaller states and favour division.

“But they are not willing to fight for it or make it an issue in the assembly elections,” the leader, who was the president of an outfit, which used to hold demonstrations and meetings to press the demand for division of the state, told Deccan Herald.

Rahul Gandhi who has addressed large gathering in his campaigns in UP has also not brought up the issue.

It is the same with SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, whose party had opposed the division.

Some smaller outfits like the Ittehad Front in the eastern region and some similar outfits in the impoverished Bundelkhand region have been trying their best to keep the issue afloat and make it an poll issue but it is doubtful if they will succeed given their limited reach.

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