Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati will kick off her party's 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign on Tuesday with a grand rally in Lucknow. The rally coincides with sixth death anniversary of party founder Kanshiram. But clarity on the big question of supporting the UPA following the Trinamool Congress's exit is expected only when the BSP's national executive discusses it on Wednesday.
The rally has been called to "ponder, deliberate and announce" the BSP's stand on issues like allowing the FDI in multi-brand retail and the diesel price hike. Mayawati is expected to come down heavily on the UPA government on issues like allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and the diesel price hike on Tuesday. Mayawati will also be taking on the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh.
Mayawati is keeping both the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) guessing whether she will withdraw support to the UPA government at the centre. The rally at the Ramabai ground will be watched keenly both by the Congress and the SP in the state as the Congress shares tentative relations with both the BSP and the SP.
Sources within the Congress have indicated to CNN-IBN that the BSP has already held back-channel talks with the government. Sources add that the government has realised that early polls do not suit the BSP and in this scenario, the party is unlikely to withdraw its outside support to the UPA.
For the moment, it now seems that not Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, but it is Mayawati who holds the key to the government's survival. Maya would not want early elections as Mulayam's party has been in power in Uttar Pradesh only for over six months and the BSP is unlikely to reap any benefits in terms of the number of seats. Sources also say that Maya would de-link the need for early elections from her stand on reforms.
On the other hand, the SP is making the government wait and watch. Mulayam would not want to go for early elections till the time he is sure that the government would fall. However, once he knows that the government would fall, he would want to go for early elections, win more seats and increase his bargaining power at the Centre. So Mayawati, who is most likely to announce that she will continue to support the UPA at her rally, is being seen as the most important leader who can ensure UPA's survival.
(With additional information from IANS)