Lucknownama: Maya syndrome in SP!

The Samajwadi Party office on Vikramaditya Marg is abuzz with construction activity these days. First, a platform and a small stage were built and now the space where there were flower beds is being covered with sandstone, amidst constant screeching of stone-grinding machines. Several trees have been axed. Many SP men find this jarring. Remarked one of them, "For whole five years we criticised Mayawati's obsession with stones and destruction of greenery. Now we are doing it in our party office.''

Upping the minority craft

Muslim leaders in Samajwadi Party, aspiring for various positions, make it a point to highlight their UP tag and their long association with the party, in contrast with others who have recently been rewarded by the leadership. First, Munawwar Saleem, who isn't so well known even in his own state Madhya Pradesh, was sent to Rajya Sabha from UP. Next, Delhi's Imam Bukhari's son-in-law Umar Ali Khan was sent to the Legislative Council. Now when another vacancy has arisen in the council after Mayawati's resignation, every Muslim partymen from UP thinks it is his turn this time. Insiders say the party may actually pick a candidate from the state. It is another matter that the old loyalists may again be disappointed. The leadership reportedly wants to choose Kokab Hamid, who had left the RLD recently. The calculation is that his induction in the council will help the SP get a foothold in western UP where it really needs some more strengthening.

BJP's wild wild East

The BJP's decision to appoint Laxmi Kant Bajpai as state president and Hukum Singh as party leader in the Assembly has surprised many. Both hail from western UP and this is the first time that both top positions have been given to persons from the same region. Sources said the decision shows the top leadership's exasperation with the rivalries of leaders from eastern UP. Yogi Adityanath, Surya Pratap Shahi, Ramapati Ram Tripathi, O P Singh, Rajnath Singh — all are from eastern UP. The unwritten arrangement now is that the party's national vice-president Kalraj Mishra, who is a member of the UP assembly from Lucknow, will take care of eastern and central UP while Uma Bharti, elected MLA from Charkhari, will handle party affairs in Bundelkhand.

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