Is post-poll tie-up behind Modi's soft corner on Maya?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters file photo

Much political significance is being attached to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sudden change of heart towards BSP supremo Mayawati, whom he addressed as 'behenji', at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. 

Addressing an election rally at Pratapgarh, about 175 km from here, Modi said that the SP and Congress had "tricked" Mayawati. "Behen (sister) Mayawati was kept in the dark... she was promised the post of prime minister," Modi had remarked.

While the Samajwadi Party and BSP termed Modi's remarks as a "desperate attempt" to create a rift in their grand alliance as he felt threatened by it, political analysts felt that Modi could also be prompted by a possible post-poll tie-up with the BSP in the event of a fractured mandate in the general elections.

Mayawati on Sunday lashed out against Modi, accusing him of trying to create differences in the alliance. "BJP has realised that it is going to lose the elections... Modi is following the policy of divide and rule but he will not succeed as our alliance is for the future," she told reporters here.

SP president Akhilesh Yadav said that Modi's remarks indicated that he felt "threatened" by the alliance. "The prime minister feels threatened by our alliance and therefore he is trying to weaken it," he said.

Political analyst Pradeep Kapur said that the stakes were "very high" for the BJP in the next two phases in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region. "The alliance is very strong in this region... Modi may be trying to confuse the BSP voters," he said.

"Modi may also be nurturing hopes that Mayawati may extend support to BJP in the event of a fractured mandate," Kapur told DH here on Sunday.

Incidentally, Mayawati and BJP have formed coalition governments in the state three times in the past.

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