UP: Is Mayawati insecure about Priyanka’s increased activity?

Lucknow: BSP chief Mayawati, who debuted on Twitter last year, has been quite active. Her sharp and consistent criticism is mostly targeted at the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government with intermittent attack on the Modi government at the Centre.

However, the year 2020 seems to have broaden her perspective. Her offensives are now focussed on Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who has started spending time in UP of late, taking up major issues and meeting the distressed people, especially the kin of victims of gangrape and murder and anti-CAA protest violence.

In a first such attack on Priyanka, Mayawati on Thursday tweeted without naming her, “If Congress’ national woman general secretary doesn’t go and meet the dead infants’ mothers in Kota (Rajasthan, where 107 kids have died), then her meeting with the families of protest victims in UP will only be considered a mere drama to gain political mileage and UP citizens should be wary of this.”

Incidentally, CM Adityanath had stated the same a day ago albeit mentioning her name.

Mayawati, the former UP CM continued her attack on Saturday questioning the sensitivity of the Congress over the Kota tragedy even as Priyanka reached Muzaffarnagar and Meerut to meet the families affected in CAA violence. Congress leaders believe Mayawati and Yogi’s similar reaction is a proof enough that Priyanka has created a buzz in UP.

“Mayawati’s position as the only woman leader in UP for the quarter of century is being challenged by Vadra. Anticipating the same, Mayawati didn’t tie-up with Congress before the LS election though she allied with SP,” said a senior Congress leader. BSP’s alliance with SP was called off recently.

Mayawati’s another concern is BSP and Congress votebanks’ overlap. Dalits and Muslims helped BSP to score 10 in 2019 LS poll from 0 in 2014. Congress hopes to dent these many voterbanks, which earlier supported it.

A senior Congress leader says, “If Priyanka or Congress make inroads into UP, it would be at the cost of BSP.” Analysts add Mayawati is so insecure she never entertained Bhim Army chief Chandra­shekhar, a Dalit leader from western UP despite his all-out efforts, as she feared he would unsettle her position of the tallest Dalit leader of UP in future. Akhilesh Singh, a senior Congress leader, says, “Does anyone remember when Mayawati hit the streets last time. Apart from tweeting, she hasn’t done anything substantial for people affected in violence. She can’t dictate where Priyanka should go or doesn’t. Since Priyankaji is focussing on UP, she has to be here.”

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