BSP supremo Mayawati's strong opposition to the inclusion of the Congress in the 'grand alliance' in Uttar Pradesh and her continuous outbursts against the grand old party is not without reason.
Mayawati is said to be "furious" with the Congress over the latter's attempts to prop up Scheduled Caste leader and Bheem Army president Chandrashekhar alias Ravan but also fielding BSP rebels against her party nominees in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Around half a dozen BSP deserters have been given nominations by the Congress in UP. Incidentally, these deserters were in the fray from the seats which have gone to the BSP as part of the grand alliance.
The Congress has fielded Omvati Jatav, a former Mayawati loyalist, from Nagina Lok Sabha seat much to the chagrin of Mayawati.
Besides several other former BSP leaders, who crossed over to the Congress, including Kaiserjahan, Brijlal Khabri, Ramshankar Bhargav and Naseemuddin Siddique were also given tickets by the Congress and they will be contesting against the BSP.
According to sources, a few more BSP leaders were expected to cross over to the Congress once the grand old party promised them tickets.
Political pundits say that any rise in the Congress' fortune in UP could only be at the expense of the BSP.
"Scheduled Castes once formed the core vote bank of the Congress... Their migration to BSP hit the Congress hard," says political analyst J P Shukla.
Shukla said that Mayawati feared that the Congress was once again trying to dent her core vote bank.
A section of the Congress leaders here feel that Mayawati cannot be "trusted".
"Mayawati can ditch the grand alliance after polls if the BSP wins a sizable number of seats... After all she had formed a government with the BJP twice in the past," a senior UP Congress leader said.