The birthday message by BSP chief Mayawati, who turned 63 Tuesday, comes a day after an SP MLA took potshots at the Uttar Pradesh alliance.
Lucknow: As she turned 63 Tuesday, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati had a birthday wish. She asked the members of her party as well as those of her rival-turned-ally Samajwadi Party (SP) to bury their differences and work for the success of the alliance.
“You know that my birthday is being celebrated at a time when the Lok Sabha elections are approaching,” she said at a press conference at the BSP office in Lucknow.
“In this election, the biggest state in the country in terms of population and the number of [Parliament] seats, our party announced on 12 January that it will contest these elections jointly with the Samajwadi Party,” she added.
“This state decides which party will form the government at the Centre and who will become the Prime Minister,” she said, referring to the seat share Uttar Pradesh holds in the Lok Sabha, 80 of 543.
“Keeping this in mind and the public interest, I appeal to all BSP and SP members that they forget all past rivalry and set aside their personal interests and be careful of all the machinations deployed by opposition parties,” Mayawati added.
“Bring a historic victory to all candidates of the alliance,” she said. “This will be the biggest and most precious gift of my birthday. I have the same appeal to other members of our parties and other allies.”
Mayawati’s statements came as the first signs of resentment emerged in the SP-BSP alliance, barely two days after the two former rivals came together.
Also read: Despite bonhomie, Akhilesh non-committal on supporting Mayawati for Prime Minister candidate
Resentment in the ranks
Speaking to the media Monday, SP MLA Hariom Yadav from Firozabad said the alliance won’t work out in the district, and added it would only stand till “SP president Akhilesh Yadav played yes-man to Mayawati”.
This despite the fact that Akhilesh has warned party members against taking potshots at Mayawati. At the press meet to announce the alliance Saturday, he had said “any insult to Mayawati would be a personal insult to me”.
Akhilesh has declined to comment on the MLA’s statement, but visited the BSP chief Tuesday with birthday greetings, and a shawl and a bouquet.
At her birthday function, Mayawati also released the 14th volume of a book based on her life and the BSP movement, with a 63 kg five-tier cake prepared for the occasion.
Once again, this year, the extravagance once witnessed at her birthday celebrations was missing. In 2003, for example, the function included thousands of laddoos, over 50 quintals of marigold flowers and numerous bouquets. But the scale has been toned down in light of the criticism the ostentatious displays evoked.
Also read: At long last, the Dalit queen of Indian politics has tamed the brash Yadavs