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Mayawati set to share dais with Mulayam

Samajwadi Party sources said the Bahujan Samaj Party chief had agreed to campaign for Mulayam Singh Yadav

By Our Special Correspondent in Lucknow

  • Published 16.03.19, 4:46 AM
  • Updated 16.03.19, 4:46 AM
BSP president Mayawati
BSP president Mayawati Telegraph file picture

From appearing to bury the hatchet with a bitter rival to displaying an unusual liking for poetry to warming up to social media, Mayawati has shown multiple signs of changing.

Samajwadi Party sources said the Bahujan Samaj Party chief had agreed to campaign for Mulayam Singh Yadav, an arch-enemy for years.

“She is likely to share the dais with Mulayam at Mainpuri on April 19. Akhilesh Yadav will also be there,” said an SP leader who didn’t want to be named.

Mulayam is the father of SP chief Akhilesh, with whom Mayawati has struck an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. SP patriarch Mulayam is contesting from Mainpuri, which he had won along with Azamgarh in 2014.

While announcing the BSP-SP alliance in January, Mayawati had said she had “forgotten the Lucknow guesthouse incident in the larger interest of the country”. She had also said a son shouldn’t be judged on the basis of the wrongs committed by his father.

Mayawati had registered a case with Lucknow police on June 2, 1995, accusing SP members of attacking her with criminal intentions in the guesthouse when she withdrew support to the “anti-Dalit” Mulayam regime. Since then, Mayawati has made no bones about her aversion for Mulayam.

On Friday, Mayawati surprised many by quoting a verse of Allama Iqbal while holding forth on the greatness of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar and her mentor, BSP founder Kanshi Ram.

Hazaron saal nargis apni be-nuri pe roti hai/Bari mushkil se hota hai chaman mein deedawar paida (The flower mourned its woeful fate for a thousand years/Rarely is an appreciator of its beauty born in the garden),” Mayawati recited.

Multiple BSP leaders said they had never heard their party chief reciting poetry.

Mayawati was paying floral tributes to Kanshi Ram on his 85th birth anniversary in Lucknow. She said she was the one who gave respect to him and Ambedkar by building memorials to them when she was chief minister.

Known to even punish party workers for publicising her or the BSP on social media, she joined Twitter in February.