Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mayawati gains in stature

One unintended consequence of the PM's insistence on seeing through the nuclear deal is the emergence of Mayawati as the head of a Third Front and contender for the PM's job sooner than most people had thought.

It's fair to say that opposition to the deal came mainly from the Left and Mayawati. The BJP and many of its allies would gladly opt for the deal with some minor changes- or that's the impression they have created. The BJP's lack of determination to topple the UPA also registered- witness Advani's statement in the course of his speech in parliament that the NDA wanted to defeat the government, not destabilise it.

Mayawati made two important points about the nuclear deal: one, it increased the chances of a US attack on Iran with all its implications for India; two, an attack on Iran would see oil prices shooting up further and worsening the suffering of the poor. It does appear that she is carving out a distinctive position for herself. The constituency she is targeting- dalits, upper castes,muslims, the economically backward- is the one that kept the Congress in power for decades after independence. Both the UPA and the NDA have cause for worry.


Anonymous said...

"dalits, upper castes,muslims, the economically backward" - I must say, who's left?

T T Ram Mohan said...

Sorry, I meant economically backward among upper castes.The rural and urban elite, which will be upper caste and OBC, will go with the UPA/NDA