Left should have the figures before bargaining: Congress

Lucknow, April 25 (Inditop) Taking a swipe at the Left for saying it may seek outside support from the Congress if the Third Front forms the government, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi Saturday said that the Communists should “first have the figures” before seeking a bargain.

“It is the dog that wags the tail, not the tail that wags the dog. The Left should have ample figures so that someone should ask for their support,” Singhvi said caustically, while addressing a press conference at the party’s state headquarters here.

He was answering a query on Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat statement that the Left-led Third Front was determined to form a non-Congress government at the centre, but would not mind taking outside support of the Congress.

Karat has repeatedly said the Left will not support a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, though some of his senior colleagues have said this would be decided after the polls.

Singhvi also termed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a “copy-cat” party. “The BJP has copied most of our initiatives like the NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) and the farmers’ loan waiver scheme in its manifesto. In a way, they are trying to make a fool of the country,” Singhvi said.

Commenting on party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s comment in West Bengal Saturday of not being experienced enough to become the prime minister yet, Singhvi said: “This is the culture and humanity of our party and leaders. Our leaders are not like (BJP leader L.K.) Advani who pats his back himself.”

Singhvi accused the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government in Uttar Pradesh of not having utilised the funds sanctioned by the central government for development schemes.

“Chief Minister Mayawati’s interest is in building parks and stone memorials and the state government has not implemented various central schemes,” he said.

  • It was the UPA government, which had rejected her demand for a 80,000-crore development package which forced her party to withdraw support to the alliance,” Mayawati

    Mayawati says a ‘Aboriginal Inhabitant of jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha (Scheduled Caste)’s daughter’ should be made next PM

    RAMAIPUR – Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Saturday said a ‘Mayawati says a ‘Aboriginal Inhabitant of jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha (Scheduled Caste)’s daughter’ should be made the Prime Minister of the country.

    Mayawati further said an Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha (Scheduled Caste) Prime Minister would ensure the upliftment of the backward and minority communities in the country.

    “If you make an Aboriginal Inhabitant of jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha (Scheduled Caste)’s daughter the Prime Minister, then UP will be famous in the entire world. If the BSP comes to power at the Centre, UP will occupy a special place,” Mayawati said at an election rally here.

    The UP Chief Minister also asked people to vote for her party to ensure state’s development.

    “Unless the BSP government is in power both at the Centre and the state, the country and Uttar Pradesh will not progress,” she added.

    Mayawati also criticized Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for criticizing her government’s track-record on development.

    “The Prime Minister is not at fault. He will speak what the Congress leaders will tell him to say,” she added.

    The BSP supremo further said the Congress party was nervous about the growing support base of her party.
    “The Congress is very nervous about the growing support base of the Bahujan Samaj Party and therefore its leaders are resorting to giving misleading statements. It was the UPA government, which had rejected her demand for a 80,000-crore development package which forced her party to withdraw support to the alliance,” Mayawati added.
    The Significance of Uttar Pradesh

    For many elections after independence, Uttar Pradesh (UP) remained central to the formation of any government at the Centre. It was, and remains, the largest contributor of parliamentarians to the Lok Sabha. UP’s centrality to Indian politics also derived from the fact that it played the role of a political bellwether in the first nine elections. The party which won UP formed the government at the Centre. But it was not merely an electoral bellwether but also was the arena where the strategy of social coalitions forming a majority under the Congress umbrella was built and worked out. The ability of the Congress in welding and managing an electorally successful social alliance of Brahmins, Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) and Muslims has been much commented upon as has been the gradual withering away of this bloc with the emergence of caste and religion based politics.

    With the decline of the Congress’ social alliance, also declined UP’s role as political bellwether of national electoral contests. On the debris of the Congress’ social alliance emerged two different forms of political forces. On the one hand were the caste-community based political parties – the Samajwadi Party (SP) and its earlier version, the Janata Dal, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) based on welfare for the entire people, and on the other was the religion defined BJP.

    The BSP consolidated the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) vote under its banner. Even though there was one attempt by the SP and BSP (representing broadly the shudra and Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath castes respectively) in the mid 1990s, to come together in a political alliance, it was a disaster. While the social groups represented by these parties were all struggling for similar demands, the distinctions between their class and social backgrounds proved insurmountable. The rich peasant base of the SP, while ritually below the upper castes and struggling for a foothold in the urban networks of power and privilege, were – crucially – outside the stigma of untouchability. The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) , on the other hand, were largely left out of landed property and remained severely discriminated and marginalised. But, unlike the OBC caste-communities, some Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) had managed to use reservations to breach the barricades to Government service, and thus power. Given the impossibility of further radical land reforms, it proved impossible for these two socially discriminated groups to ally politically with each other as they were fighting for a share of the same pie.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in contrast, tried to weld a dominant political constituency around a radical-right Hindutva agenda. Their core support came from the two upper castes of brahmins and rajputs. The upper castes seemed to find refuge and defence against the assertive lower castes in the BJP, but could never attract a sufficiently large OBC or dal Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) bloc to augment their position and thus found themselves inadequate without political allies. They did try to revive the old Congress alliance, sans muslims, by propping the BSP up and making Mayawati the chief minister twice. This too proved unworkable since the dalits, unlike in the earlier decades, were not anymore willing to be passive recipients of patronage.

    The BSP and its leader Mayawati learnt the, seemingly, correct lessons from the fragmentation of the 1990s. She had already consolidated the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) vote into a formidable bloc as the BSP and had learnt to leverage it for political positions. She now worked to build bridges with the brahmin voters and also bring the muslims closer to the BSP. It was a mirror of the old Congress social alliance, but now under the leadership of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs). This strategy was a winner in the UP legislative assembly elections in the summer of 2007, when the BSP rode on a Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) brahmin, muslim consolidation to become the first party in many years to get a simple majority.

    But social prejudice and contempt for the supposedly untouchable Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) remains strong, specially among the upper castes. The immediate reason for the brahmins coming to the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) dominated BSP in 2007 – the need to defeat the SP and the political challenge of the OBCS. Mayawati could enjoys some incipient pro-incumbency feelings because of her efficient rule of distributing wealth among all sections of the society, distribution of healthy seeds along with land to the farmers, encouraging all those who wanted to do petty bussiness offering 15sy meters of land, and non corrupt efficicent administration . This parliamentary election is therefore not going to be any different from the last Assembly election for Mayawati’s new political alliance. Since, the upper castes remain largely with the BSP under her able and straight forward administration leadership, it will definitely be a signal the birth of a new dominant power group in UP politics. It would also have wider implications for politics and social life in India as the willingness of the upper castes to continue in a political alliance dominated by Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is the,Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) could indicate a weakening of the caste prejudice among the former. In that sense, the results from UP could again be a bellwether in this election and, will therefore, be eagerly awaited.

    The voters have already demonstrated that they too are like US voters who brought the change well against their traditional mind set.
    EC issues notice to Congress leader Digvijay Singh for violating Model Code

    New Delhi, Apr.25 (ANI): The Election Commission of India on Saturday issued a notice to senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for violating the Model Code of Conduct.

    The commission’s notice said that Singh would need to explain his adverse comments against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

    Mayawati is said to have lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister for seeking to invoke the use of the Central Bureau Investigation to warn her ruling Bahujan Samaj Party against harassing Congress workers in Uttar Pradesh.

    Singh’s threat was issued at an election rally in Hardoi, Central UP, and invited an immediate reaction from Mayawati and the BJP, which has been accusing Congress of devaluing crucial institutions such as the Election Commission, CBI and the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

    The Opposition saw Singh’s remarks as a vindication of its stand that CBI had become a mere tool in the hands of the principal ruling party to harass its political opponents.

    Singh warned the BSP leadership against harassing state Congress leaders.

    “I am challenging and warning the BSP leadership against victimising our party workers. Mayawati should not harass our party members as she has a CBI case pending against her and when we form the next government she will be in trouble,” he told the rally.

    Singh’s remarks had his party colleagues scurrying for cover, but BSP and BJP pounced on them to corner Congress.

    Mayawati, while addressing newspersons in Lucknow, spoke about how CBI was being used to threaten h

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    show details Apr 23 (3 days ago)


    Dear Appa,

    Read this article and the comments, I have been having a good discussion with the author of the article from Wall street Journal.



    A supporter of Bahujan Samaj Party holds a poster of Mayawati during a campaign rally in Kolkata Tuesday.




    Ms. Mayawati runs a very well organized cadre based party. She is the CM of UP not because she has the money power or the muscle power, she is the CM because she understands what her people need and she meets their needs. Is that not what all Politicians should be striving for.
    Coming to the role when (not if) she become the PM, she will be great because for the first time the majority of the people will be represented. And I am confident if the liberalization helps the majority Ms. Mayawati will be the first person to liberalize. Don’t forget she is the follower of Dr. Ambedkar who was promoting privatization when it was not popular in our political establishment.
    BSP is a very young party, and Ms. Mayawati is no hurry to become a PM. She is making all the noise to make people aware and educate of what is coming ahead.

    Editor, http://www.ambedkar.org

    * Paul Beckett replied:

    Thanks for the comments Sashikanth — very interesting. I agree; I think a lot of what is driving her now is a longer term goal for power at the Center. It doesn’t appear that the BSP has done a great job so far of broadening its base beyond UP, which surely it would need to have real clout in parliament. But its testament to Mayawati’s political skills that she is considered such a national figure nonetheless. best, Paul Beckett


    My father and I are very active workers of BSP, we attend their cadre camps.I do not totally agree that BSP is not expanding the base outside UP. You must understand that BSP is a very young party, it takes time and money to spread across the country. BSP has to fight a lot of odds to spread the parties message, it is still considered a SC/ST party and with that comes a lot of stigma.

    You will have to see it to believe the dedication the workers have in promoting BSP. I think media in Indian has blocked all the good news about BSP and Mayawati, and I think it is due the caste mindset of our media.

    I know BSP is here to stay

    Paul Beckett wrote:

    Sashikanth: Fair enough; not going to argue with the permanency aspect. I think the media point is a fascinating one — do you see a big difference between the English-language media and the Hindi-langiuage media? Paul


    I don’t know about Hindi language media, I am not a Hindi speaking person. But certainly I know the English media is biased. A simple test is to search for BSP/Mayawati news in Google News and see the number of hits you get. Most of them will be negative news or even if it is positive news the tone will be negative. There are a very few journalists in India who cover BSP without any bias.
    As you know these days there is a trend of Journalists throwing shoes at the politicians, other day my father was so frustrated with the media, he was saying one day he will throw shoes at the journalists ? (no offense to you)
    I think you should write an article on the Media and election coverage. What I see these days each media house has its own favorite party. This is evident in the exit polls these media houses publish. As an example, no single media got last time UP election right, they had no clue BSP will win absolute majority.

    Andrew Torchia wrote:

    Paul, Sashikanth,
    From what I can understand the whole process of voting in India works on bias. Brahmins vote brahmins to power, Muslims vote for muslims, dalits vote dalits, and so on. Where politics is not elitist, its caste based.

    Mayawati’s rise to power has been on a giant tidal wave of dalit awakening. She rode the wave her mentor Kanshi Ram built over many years. Granted other local media has biases and is sometimes unfairly harsh on Mayawati, but her term as chief minister of UP has supplied enough to fuel the media machine. Are those mega parks and statues across Lucknow meant to reducing poverty? or are they aimed at fixing the countless wrongs done to dalits over centuries?.

    And that 20-page appeal-for-votes-in-lieu-of-a-manifesto BSP has. Sashikanth, how exactly does an average, educated middle-class man like me read this: “Our party wants growth of capital, not development of capitalists in the country”. And what does that mean anyway?

    Not only does the party lack a clear sense of direction about which way they want to steer the economy, they aren’t even thinking about it. Not to mention the non existence of credible second- and third-rung leadership in the party, which has had sufficient exposure (in any form) to the corridors of power in New Delhi.

    Beyond all this the only thing that I can think that makes Mayawati eligible to become PM now is raw ambition. And she is not alone there. Lalu Yadav (who did an admirable job as railway minister), another son of the soil Mulayam Singh Yadav, and the wily Sharad Pawar, not only match her ambition but also have far greater experience in dealing with coalitions.

    Quite likely BSP may be polling more votes and winning more seats this election. Mayawati may well have the ambition of being PM and her party may well corner most of the 80 seats in U.P. But prime minister in 2009? Tough – for a variety of reasons.

    – Satish Sarangarajan, Staff Reporter, Dow Jones Newswires


    Dear Andrew,
    How many political parties in India who have manifesto actually implement it? Zero. BSP does not believe in manifestos, now coming to the statement “Our party wants growth of capital, not development of capitalists in the country”. How hard is to understand this? BSP wants all the people to become productive and increase the overall capital of the nation not just a few capitalist in the country. We are talking growing the entire nation bottom up.
    One of the single most problem our country has is castesim and the only party which is striving to remove casteism is BSP. This may sound funny but think for one moment, in the last 62 years we have had small sect of the society which ruled every branch of government and media and rest were just a silent bystanders. Now BSP comes and says you will have representation based on your population, that means everyone feels equal in this system. One may argue, what about merit. I say compare the country before mandal commission(reservation on OBC) and after it, you will notice the country is fairing much better after. Merit in India is a misnomer, the so called upper castes had their own unwritten reservation, now that cease to exist, thanks to BSP, Mayawati and all the other SC/ST leaders.
    I agree may not become PM in 2009, but she will become PM in her lifetime.

    * Paul Beckett wrote:

    Andrew/Satish/Sashikanth: on casteism and its grip on the Indian electorate, where do you see space for politicians to ditch that and run on a ticket of economic development (for all) and a clean chit when it comes to corruption? we’ve tried to reflect in our election coverage so far a couple of themes: 1. in a story by peter wonacott recently that showed how economic development in Bihar was resonating with voters and was bringing some genuine increased prosperity (admittedly not much) to the lowest of the low, at the expense of the likes of lalu and 2. that the “reform” candidates in this election are actually having a very hard time getting heard because they don’t have the political machines and (lets face it) often rather corrupt approach to attracting voters that better-established parties do. I’m wondering if these two are just counter-forces working against each other in this election and that in another five years development will be more prominent as an issue AND reform candidates will be more popular or whether this is another oxymoron we live with in India?


    Paul, you must understand that money without self respect is of no use. In India every aspect of human interaction is based on caste. You may not observe (key word is observe that does not mean it does not exist) this in metros and small towns, but in majority of India commerce is based on caste. So for any politician to ignore caste is like to ignore big elephant in the room.

    I live in the US and I am a knee observer of politics here. Even though people may compare Blacks and SC/STs from US and India, I think they are not the same. Even now after being in the states for over 10 years with a master’s degree, I feel Indian will judge me based on my caste than my merit if they come to know which I caste I belong too.
    Many of my friends do not know my caste because I am a vegetarian. The discussions they have about SC/STs is a pure racists slur. If people who are educated can have such opinions, what would you expect from people who are not educated?
    Most of these so called corruption charges as political fabrication. Let us take Ms.Mayawati’s Taj corridor scam. This whole project was started by the BJP govt. in the central and she is help responsible for it. Ms. Mayawati needs money to run the party. She gives tickets to people who have the money to run for the office, people call it selling the ticket. People collect money and send it to Ms. Mayawati and she pays tax for it, but she has been charged with “unknown source of income”.
    I think Ms. Mayawati is the reform candidate you are talking about. She has found the root cause of the problem and is trying to eliminate it. She talks about caste system in politics, where as all the major parties have been practicing for last 62 years. Now that she is opened the can of worms, I am sure we will have a day when people will be voting for a party that talks about development not based on the which caste you were born in to.
    If you look at the most of the “reform” candidates they are trying to import a solution from a different country to solve the problem they do not address. That is the main reason they will not get the backing.


    Obviously, you are a BSP partisan hack. Please stop smoking whatever you are smoking and get back to your senses. Casteism in India is pretty much the same as being catholic, Lutherian, Baptist and so on in US. People are curious and prefer to marry their children to the same caste and that is pretty much it and there is nothing wrong with it, even though I wish it was not (and it is the case in large cities anyway). India has progressed over the last 60 years..please keep up with it. It is people like Mayavati who choose to express their caste because she has no other talent to get elected and it sad to see an educated person like yourself not see such obvious things. Nothing good will come out by having her be the PM except that she will continue to become richer and UP will continue to be one of the poorest state in India.

    * JAGATHEESAN CHANDRASEKHARAN wrote: (your comment)

    There are religions which believe that only human beings have souls and other beings like the animals do not have any soul. So you can do whatever you want to do to them. Now in India you have 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rate souls and human beings without any soul. They are the untouchables or the SC/STs. And you can do whatever you want to do to them. The father of the Constitution Dr.Ambedkar did not believe in any soul, but felt all are equal. Therefore, untouchabilty is punishable under law. But the most dreaded practice of untouchability is still there. the very fact, saying that Ms. Mayawati does not have any talent or that she does not have merit, is nothing but the dominating attitude of the so called first rate souls. In order to justify their soul rating system, they compare with the non-souls with the blacks. Or even differences amongst the non-souls themselves. In order to bring real equality among all human beings Ms. mayawati will become the Prime Minister. Ms. Mayawati will distribute the wealth of the country equally among all sections of the society. Her government will distribute the government lands to the tillers and supply healthy seeds to the farmers. Her Government will provide loans to all those who want to start business for their lively-hood. Her government employees will do efficient work without indulging in corruption. Only then there will be happiness and peace in the country.