As goes the old-adage, Politics makes for strange bed-fellows. BSP supremo Mayawati announced her party’s alliance with the Samajwadi party at Lucknow today. The alliance has decided to contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, which is, according to them, expected to decide the fate of Narendra Modi in the General Elections later this year.
The alliance has left two seats for the Congress party, the traditional Gandhi dynasty bastions of Rae Bareili and Amethi. It is perhaps an opportune moment to discuss Mayawati’s past history with Samajwadi Party and the BJP.
In 1995, Mayawati decided to withdraw her support from the Mulayam Singh government in the state. The decision came after a series of conflicts between the two parties which had formed the government with support from the Congress. That fateful day, a leader from SP attempted to assault Mayawati at the VVIP house, Meerabai Guest House, in Lucknow where she was meeting MLAs from her party. And it was the BJP MLA from Farukkabad, Brahma Dutt Dwivedi, who had come to her rescue.
Senior BJP leader, Rajendra Tiwari, recalls, “Mayawati had locked the door from inside and SP workers were outside. The then BJP MLA from Farrukhabad, Brahm Dutt Dwivedi, rescued Mayawati. He also contacted Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The BJP took Mayawati to Governor House, extended support to BSP, and Mayawati took oath as CM the next morning.”
There are different accounts of what transpired that day. It is said by many that the goons from the Samajwadi party locked Mayawati in a room and thrashed her. It is said that even her clothes were torn apart. It is at that moment that RSS Swayamsevak Dwivedi reached her, risking his own life, and rescued her from the imminent threat to her life and modesty.
That incident sparked an animosity that lasted over two decades until Narendra Modi came to power. Mayawati has made no secret of her animosity towards Akhilesh’s father, Mulayam. In 2011, the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh arrested scores of SP leaders, including Akhilesh, to settle scores. In 2012, when Akhilesh succeeded her as Chief Minister, he promises an investigation into alleged financial irregularities during Mayawati’s government.
The BJP, too, has referred to the incident while attacking her decision to form an alliance with Akhilesh. “Is she expecting respect from those who had shattered her pride and dignity in the infamous 1995 Guest House case?,” said BJP leader Rakesh Tripathi.
For her part, Mayawati appears to have a genuine regard for Dwivedi. When the BJP leader fell victim to a political murder, it is said that the BSP supremo wept bitterly. When Dwivedi’s widowed wife contested the elections, she did not field any candidates from her party and campaigned for her.
In the aftermath of the incident at Meerabai Guest House, Mayawati formed the formed the government with support from the BJP.
However, all of that appears to be in the past. The alliance between the two parties only goes on to show that in the world of politics, opportunism reigns supreme. In fact, today, Mayawati eluded to the incident too and said that she was looking past it and forming an alliance with Samajwadi Party only for the ‘betterment of the nation’. However, perhaps the politics took precedence and she failed to mention that it was a swayamsevak who risked his own life to rescue her from SP goons.
Today, she derides RSS and the BJP while allying with the very people who treated her in the most unspeakable manner. Mayawati’s journey from Meerabai Guest House to Hotel Taj is complete. And it has all been done in the name of ‘betterment of the Nation’.