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UP bypolls: Akhilesh Yadav’s absence, Mayawati silence did the trick

In 2014, BJP had pulled off a massive victory in Kairana by consolidating Hindu votes in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

Jun 01, 2018, 11.15 AM IST
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Party sources further said Akhilesh did not campaign in Kairana as that could have brought back memories of the 2013 riots.
(This story originally appeared in on Jun 01, 2018)
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s strategic decision to not campaign in Kairana and Noorpur and the studied silence of BSP supremo Mayawati after directing her party cadres to support SP-RLD candidates paid off for the opposition. In 2014, BJP had pulled off a massive victory in Kairana by consolidating Hindu votes in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

“The riots took place when SP was in power with Jats pitching against Muslims. This time, SP took a conscious decision that Akhilesh would not campaign there so that BJP doesn’t get a chance to polarise,” said party insiders, adding that both the opposition candidates were Muslims.

Party sources further said Akhilesh did not campaign in Kairana as that could have brought back memories of the 2013 riots.

Likewise, Mayawati’s complete silence after directing party cadres to work in tandem with SP-RLD counterparts was deliberate, claimed BSP sources. They said Mayawati did not openly support SP-RLD to prevent BJP from consolidating Dalit votes — who comprise 15% of the total electorate — along with Jats and Gujjars.

“Mayawati didn’t need to say anything since she had already clarified that BSPSP alliance had reached the point of finalising seat-sharing,” said a BSP member.

At a presser on Thursday, Akhilesh brushed aside a question on why he didn’t go for canvassing in Kairana with a humorous quip, “I didn’t go to campaign because I got scared of Yogiji’s speeches.” He added, “BJP has been defeated in its own lab and the result is the victory of the people who believe in communal amity and peace.”

Curiously, Mayawati did not react, in what experts said could be a tactic to drive a hard bargain on seat-sharing with SP in UP and Congress in MP.

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