Something unheard of happened down south in the hotbed of Dravidian politics. The Hindustan Times reports that

The massive crowd turnout, its hysterical reaction to Modi’s arrival on stage at the Thuglak anniversary and the thunderous cheer to his nearly one-hour speech had Tamil Nadu’s BJP leaders wondering whether they finally had the charismatic campaigner who can breach the Dravidian fort for the BJP.

While the BJP breaching the dravidian fort maybe a pipe dream for a long time come, Thuglak Editor Cho Ramaswamy surmised it well

 “I welcome the merchant of death to – corruption, official apathy, terrorism, darkness and despair.”

With Jayalalitha dishing out a 43 course lunch to Modi the BJP maybe beginning to re-stitch its string of pearls alliance strategy. While allies are important, it is even more important to pay attention to the new BJP strategy, glimpses of which have made it to the media after the first meeting of the BJP’s 19-member central election management committee . 

The Telegraph reports that :

 The BJP has identified 297 parliamentary seats for special attention in the next general election. These are the seats the party won once or more in elections since 1989. The “winnable” seats have been classified as A+, A, B+, etc. For instance, the 43 seats the party has never lost since 1991 have been graded A+ (A plus). Some it has won twice or thrice — and among those it has won only once, some have always given it a large share of votes. In the coming weeks, the party will size up the 297 seats. The central poll committee will get the profile of 138 of these from its sitting MPs, while a team of 30 will be formed to study the remaining 159 within a fixed timetable.

While the past may no longer be a reliable guide to the future with De-limitation re-classifying reserved seats and redrawing constituency boundaries, it is the rise of destiny’s other daughter that may give the BJP some hope.

Mayawati marked her 52nd birthday on an ominous note to the Congress with a call for trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh. Little wonder that both Congress Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it a point to greet her.

So why exactly is Mayawati pushing for splitting Uttar Pradesh if smaller states have been the death knell of regional parties ?

To understand Mayawati’s gamble we need to look ahead on the strategy or combination of strategies that will serve the Bahujan Samaj Party’s long term objectives. Mayawati has left no one in doubt on her long term aspirations of becoming the nation’s first Dalit Prime Minister but then Mayawati is no Gujral or Gowda or for that a matter a Yadav or Naidu. She neither has the patience nor the accomodation for a 3rd front type lame duck arrangement that will make her Prime Minister in name only. Her win in the recent Uttar Pradesh election has shown us that the scenario that best suits the BSP is one in which it is no longer at the mercy of coalition politics.

It is this aspect of her personality and her preferrred political arrangement that should offer us clues on where she is headed. By trifurcating UP she is gambling on driving a death knell into Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. The SP which has reduced itself into an unholy nexus of special interests lead by an ageing Yadav out of touch with reality may not have the capacity for alternate power centers in a trifurcated state. A weakened SP would lock Mayawati’s hold on Uttar Pradesh come Lok Sabha elections. It would also do something more ….

So here you have a party that swears by the poor, can reach out to upper caste Brahmins and lower caste Dalits alike, has a majority hold on what was once Uttar Pradesh to corner a lion’s share of Lok Sabha seats, what does that remind you ?

The Indira Gandhi lead Congress in its hey days.

That is exactly the social coalition that Mayawati is looking to re-stitch as she sets her eyes on New Delhi by looking beyond UP’s broken borders. In fact it would not be an exaggeration to predict that if everything goes well for this destiny’s daughter, Mayawati can indeed become the central pole of Left of Center Social Justice politics in the decade to come laying what is left of the Congress by the wayside.

Which brings us back to the BJP’s destination 300 calculation ?

If the BSP continues along its current path to start attracting the social coalition that once made up the Congress’ vote bank, it will start expanding at the expense of the Congress to solidify the BJP’s prospects in those 297 seats that it once won.

Offstumped Bottomline: Mayawati may very well be Rahul Gandhi’s nemesis in the years to come as she prepares to undo the social coalition that kept the Congress in business over the decades. The trifurcation of Uttar Pradesh could see the beginning of the BSP’s rise eventually at the Congress’ expense in the rest of the nation. As the BJP sets its eye on 300 odd Lok Sabha seats it would do well to lend a helping hand to destiny’s this Daughter to help itself.

Originally posted here

http://offstumped.nationalinterest.in/2008/01/15/destination-300-maybe-with-some-help-from-destinys-daughters/#post-comments

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