It's Madam Maya v/s the rest in UP

Every party in the Hindi heartland is ready to dig into votes of Mayawati's BSP, which managed to romp home with 206 seats in the 403 member house

The race for the next assembly in Uttar Pradesh may be largely four cornered. But, it is increasingly evident that the electoral battle slated for February in the country's most populous state is bound to largely remain Mayawati versus the rest.

Be it Samajwadi Party (SP), the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), each one is ready to dig into the votes of Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The common ground on which Mayawati and her regime are being targetted is "large scale corruption" and "despotism". What has also gone against her is her perceived inaccessibility.

While Mulayam  is busy accusing Mayawati of running the state like her "private fiefdom", Rahul has been busy blasting the ruling party for "large-scale pilferage of funds" released by the centre towards various development and social security programmes. The BJP has been trying to dismiss the ruling party as among the "most corrupt regimes in the country".

Interestingly, while taking on each one of these political outfits by the horns, Mayawati is trying to fight back with all her might. Sure enough, the task is neither easy nor simple. In the absence of sufficient genuine achievements she could boast of, Mayawati's strategy is focussed on training her guns at each of the political rivals. Labelling SP as a party of "goondas" and reminding people of the "rise in crime during the Mulayam regime", Mayawati is hoping to sail through by reviving her image of a ruthlessly tough taskmaster who is ready to bring every criminal to book.

"You can see how unlike any other party, the BSP has never protected any one -- no matter however high or mighty -- in case he is found indulging in any kind of criminal activities," she claims while citing the example of her party MPs or MLAs who were put behind bars when their unlawful activities came to the fore.

Notwithstanding her tall claims, there is little that she can do about the anti-incumbency factor that is hanging over her like the sword of Damocles. And none of the key political parties are ready to let go the opportunity to convert her losses into their gains.

Under the prevailing scenario, political pundits as well as surveys have predicted a hung assembly in 2012. But with politicians known to make strange bedfellows, it would be really too early predict the post-poll picture. For the time being, it is going to be Mayawati versus the rest.

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