Lucknow: Rivals Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) were in a confrontation mode on Saturday after the Akhilesh Yadav government cancelled the October 9 public holiday on the death anniversary of BSP founder Kanshi Ram. The SP government late on Saturday evening sent a missive to all district magistrates informing them of the cancellation of the public holiday, which had been announced by the Mayawati government in May 2007.
The holiday was declared under the Negotiable Instrument Act 1881, making it mandatory for all state government offices and even banks to be closed. Dalit idealogue, BSP founder and Mayawati's mentor Kanshi Ram had passed away in 2006 in New Delhi after a prolonged illness.
Reacting sharply to the government's decision, BSP general secretary Swamy Prasad Maurya told IANS that the move had amply proved the "anti-Dalit mindset of SP leaders". Maurya also accused the government of trying to declare the BSP's October 9 rally, called by Mayawati, a failure. "They are stooping down to new lows everyday but we will not take this lying down," Maurya said.