February 19, 2020
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Mrs G's Ghost Stirs The Blue Elephant

Mrs G's Ghost Stirs The Blue Elephant
If Priyanka Gandhi woos the Dalits of Amethi, can Mayawati look on? Alarmed by the response the young Mrs V nee G got from her family borough, Mayawati held a show of strength on December 11 at Amethi. Called the ‘savdhan’ (beware) rally, it was meant to warn the local Dalits not to be swayed by the machinations of the Congress.

At the very outset, Mayawati made some tall promises: one, Amethi, now a part of the Rae Bareli district, would be made a full-fledged district in itself, once the process of delimitation of constituencies was complete. She even had a name for the district-to-be—Chattrapati Maharaj Sahuji Nagar. Interestingly, her earlier stint as CM had seen the southern district of Banda being given the same name, but that nomenclature lasted only till the BJP came to power. Mayawati, however, is unwilling to let Sahuji rest in peace. She’s resurrected the Shivaji descendant—whose advocacy of lower-caste rights had put him in an uncomfortable equation with the Congress in early 20th century—to symbolise this 21st century battle.

Behenji was sharply critical of Priyanka visiting Amethi and helping a Dalit, whose house had been razed by upper castes, to file an FIR. "Priyanka is trying to create a rift between upper castes and Dalits," she said, adding that Priyanka was motivated not by love of the people but by thought of the next general elections.

But every time Mayawati attacked Priyanka or Sonia, a section of the crowd walked away, showing where their sympathies lay. Gandhi-bashing won’t wash in Amethi.

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