BSP gears up for a lavish rally on Maya's birthday

Focus on ferrying supporters from outside UP

 In the age of new-found austerity, politicians across the country are doing everything up their sleeves to ensure that they are seen as no less humble than AAP leaders, but for BSP president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Known for her penchant for extravagance and glitz, her fall from grace in Uttar Pradesh has seemingly not dimmed her tastes. 

And so, as her party gears up for a massive show of strength in Lucknow on January 15, BSP organisers have been told to open up their purses to make the event worth remembering.  The rally, her first since she lost power in 2012 to the Samajwadi Party, is being “organised in such a manner that the base vote bank of the party is reassured that Behenji is still in command”, a BSP source said.

 A senior party functionary said that while the city will be plastered with hoardings, banners and posters of the rally to be held at the Ramabai Ambedkar Sthal in Aashiana, tent will be put up covering thousands of square feet to ensure that visitors are not hit by the vagaries of nature.

Lucknow is facing inclement weather including off and on rains. 

The adjoining Smriti Upvan park is being decked up for the night stay of party workers who are likely to arrive from Monday.  

All party legislators have been asked to ensure that at least 10,000 people come from their constituencies, party leaders say.

Mayawati has asked the organisers to ensure the “best” for the estimated six lakh plus people expected in Lucknow. With the Lok Sabha polls on her mind, special focus is being paid to ferry supporters from Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

A lavish spread of cuisine including khaman dhokla, khandvi, sarson ka saag, makke di roti, dosa and uttapam as well as choorma, baati chokha and non-vegetarian fare will be served by the best in the industry. 

“Behenji is very caring about the cadres and has never been a miser when it comes to her party workers and cadres,” says a close aide.

To ensure that she is heard loud and clear, a hi-tech public address system is also being installed. The party has booked 23 trains from all over the country to transport party activists to Lucknow. 

The  rally coincides with Mayhawati's 57th birthday. All BSP MP's have been asked to ‘gift’ Rs 5 lakh each to the party kitty. Legislators need to cough up Rs 2 lakh each.  This money, the sources say, would be used by the party to promote Dalit movements. 

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