In one smart move, UP chief minister Mayawati has turned the tables on her political rivals and stumped her detractors.
The announcement of the new land acquisition policy and a string of sops to farmers on Thursday has not only quelled farmers’ opposition to the government but has also left Opposition parties speechless.
Parties that had hoped to cash in on the farmers’ movement against the Mayawati government are not left groping for a suitable response to the chief minister’s masterstroke.
The Congress, which had led the movement in Bhatta Parsaul, accused the Mayawati government of misleading the farmers. UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi termed the new acquisition policy as politically motivated. “For four years, the BSP government heaped atrocities on farmers and now that elections are around the corner, the government is trying to give the impression of being farmer friendly. The new policy announced by the chief minister is actually a part of the policy being prepared by the centre,” she said. A senior Congress leader, meanwhile, admitted on condition of anonymity that Ms Mayawati’s move has robbed the Congress of a major issue that was building up momentum.
“Politically, Ms Mayawati has scored brownie points and we must concede that she has won the first round—albeit grudgingly,” he said.
For the BJP, which was poised to raise the issue of farmers in its on-going national executive meeting, the announcement has jeopardised its plans. “If the farmers are reacting positively to her announcements, it makes no sense to push the issue forward. She has pulled the rug from beneath our feet and we could do nothing about it,” said a senior BJP leader. Asian Age