Maya now eyes Akhilesh's vote bank

BSP supremo Mayawati. File photo

After ending her short-lived bonhomie with arch-rival and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati has now set her eyes on the former's formidable Yadav vote bank to reap electoral dividends in the forthcoming bypolls to a dozen Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati's decision to replace Danish Ali as leader of the BSP in the Lok Sabha with Shyam Singh Yadav was being seen as an attempt to woo the Yadav community ahead of the bypolls.

According to sources in the BSP, Mayawati feels that a section of the 'Yadavs' is not happy with Akhilesh for "sidelining" Samajwadi Party patron and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Besides, the ouster of Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was among the founders of the SP, has also added to the disenchantment of the Yadavs with Akhilesh, the BSP supremo feels, sources said.

"The community (Yadav) is not fully with Akhilesh as was evident in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls," said a BSP leader while speaking to DH here.

The leader said that SP candidates did not fare well in many constituencies, where 'Yadavs' were in sizeable numbers.

He also said the BSP was considering to appoint members of the Yadav community on key posts in the party organisation. "The appointment of Shyam Singh as BSP leader in the Lower House is only the beginning...we may see some more Yadav being appointed on key organisational posts in the near future," he added.

After deciding to contest the forthcoming Assembly bypolls on 12 seats in the state, Mayawati has once again reverted to her old and tested 'social engineering' formula, which had catapulted her to power in 2007 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. It envisaged coming together of 'Brahmin-Dalit' along with Muslims.

It remains to be seen if Mayawati is able to make a dent into the SP's vote bank.

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