Unruly cadre, new campaign song, Maya's nephew were highlights at alliance rally
BSP chief Mayawati and her SP counterpart, Akhilesh Yadav, arrived in separate choppers from Lucknow & Mayawati waited for Yadav before they came up on stage together.
BSP chief Mayawati and her SP counterpart, Akhilesh Yadav, arrived in separate choppers from Lucknow and Mayawati waited for Yadav before they came up on stage together. SP, BSP and RLD cadre showed good bonhomie, waving their flags together and dancing to a peppy song specially prepared by the alliance – ‘Pasa 2019 mein paltayi, leher chhayi UP mein’ (Let’s turn the tables in 2019 as there is a wave in UP).
New slogans were coined from the stage – ‘BSP-SP aayi hai, nayi kranti layi hai’ (SP-BSP have brought a new wave) and ‘UP karo vichar, kab tak sahoge atyachar’ (UP should think, till when will you suffer injustice). The stage itself was painted in the colours of the alliance – a mix of red, blue and green – and adorned with posters of veterans such as Kanshi Ram, BR Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, Chaudhary Charan Singh and JR Phule.
SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s picture was also put up prominently in posters and on the stage though he did not come for the rally. A prominent presence was that of Mayawati’s nephew, Akash Anand, who sat in the second row on the stage and came forward to acknowledge the large crowd when he was specially thanked for being present at the rally.
RLD chief Ajit Singh’s address making fun of Narendra Modi's foreign trips and wardrobe had Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav in splits on the stage. Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary arrived on the stage almost 45 minutes before Mayawati and Yadav. A large number of LED screens and fans were put up at the venue in an attempt towards good organisation. A surprise was the presence of supporters of Bhim Army’s Chandrashekhar Azad with his photograph – Mayawati had earlier strongly objected to Azad’s credentials. Some of his supporters even climbed to the top of the tent with his picture to get attention of those on stage.
Mayawati specially thanked women for turning up in good numbers at the rally, where two separate enclosures had been especially made for them towards the front of the stage. However, security personnel had a hard time chasing away unruly SP men cadre who encroached the enclosures as the rally began. Security personnel also had to physically stop the cadre from taking away the giant posters of veteran party leaders after the rally finished. In fact, many chairs in the rear of the tent remained vacant as supporters either thronged towards the stage or preferred to stand on the main highway to listen to speeches of the leaders.