Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be used to his political gambits backfiring but this was a big misadventure – the day after he attempted to wean away Mayawati, she shut him down forcefully. Mayawati, the 63-year-old in a historic alliance with Akhilesh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, rejected the PM’s contention that Akhilesh Yadav, 45, and the Congress, which is not a part of their alliance or mahagathbandhan, are conspiring to cheat her by having a tacit deal of their own; she also called on her supporters to vote today for the Congress‘ candidates in Raebareli and Amethi – party bosses Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Mayawati said the PM’s professions were old-school machinations to force a wedge between her and Akhilesh Yadav triggered by his understanding that he’s behind after four rounds of voting across Uttar Pradesh – and she just isn’t buying.
Not known at the best of times for quiet reserve, Mayawati was incensed by Modi’s portrayal of her as an unwitting victim of a Congress-Yadav conspiracy. So what the PM in fact accomplished is what the Congress was desperate for: a truce with Mayawati after its leader in Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia, poached her candidate, earning her wrath, of which there is no mean supply. Mayawati retaliated by threatening to end her support to the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh; Akhilesh Yadav said he would back her.