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Mayawati’s rally plans worry Congress


New Delhi : A major rally being planned by Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati here Sunday has the Congress party worried as she is likely to make further inroads into what the ruling party has long considered its vote-bank.

Mayawati made an impressive entry into the capital Saturday in a 20-car motorcade to put final touches to the mammoth rally her party will hold at the Ram Lila grounds Sunday.

BSP rallies are known for attracting large crowds, especially in northern India. The party’s Dalit cadres ensure an impressive turnout.

The rise of BSP in Delhi is a matter of concern for the Congress since both political parties have the same vote-bank and BSP has eaten into the vote-share of the Congress by swaying the Dalit votes in its favour.

In the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections held in 2007, BSP won 17 wards, most of which were earlier held by the Congress. The BSP got 9.9 percent of the votes.

Though 17 out 273 wards may not aeem such a large number, the party made its presence felt by eating into the Congress vote-bank in many seats apart from those it won, leading to the defeat of the Congress candidate.

Political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao said: “Mayawati is now threatening to do to the Congress all over the country what she has done to that party in Uttar Pradesh.”

Mayawati succeeded in Uttar Pradesh with her social engineering formula where the Brahmin and upper caste votes combined with Dalit votes helped her rise to power.

Her announcement that Dalits should get reservation in the private sector is likely to corner the Congress.

Rao said many Dalits see in Mayawati a potential prime minister. “If BSP manages to increase its national vote share to 10 percent (from 5.3 percent in the last general elections) then it is likely to win around 50 seats nationally,” he predicted.