Mayavati with Karat in Delhi. (PTI)
July 13: Lost: Mulayam; gained: Mayavati.
Prakash Karat today put back an M in his balance sheet by meeting Mayavati at her Delhi residence and later announcing their two parties would co-operate in the movement against the nuclear deal.
We wanted the two parties to co-operate in the struggle against the government, the CPM general secretary said after the 45-minute meeting with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief. Since the deal is against the countrys interests, both parties should co-operate to fight against (it).
Till now, the CPM had generally kept its distance from Mayavati, who had campaigned for Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat elections and been Uttar Pradesh chief minister thrice before with BJP support. But on July 11, days after the CPM-led Left withdrew support to the Centre in protest against the nuclear deal, Karat had said he was in touch with all parties that might oppose the Indo-US agreement.
Still, his uncharacteristic, personal visit to Mayavatis home underlines the bitterness he nurses against the Congress. Last month, Mayavati, too, had withdrawn support to the government, which is now banking on her arch-rival, the Samajwadi Party, to see it through the July 22 trust vote.
A statement from BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, who was present at todays meeting, said: The political rapport will go beyond the nuclear deal. On important issues of the country, the two parties would agitate and mobilise public opinion.
A BSP spokesperson, however, made it clear the co-operation would be confined to agitations. We dont foresee any electoral alliance.
Sources said the Left, which plans nation-wide protests against the nuclear deal from July 14, had opened a channel of communication with Mayavati three days ago through the CPI leadership.
Yesterday, both the CPI and the CPM had condemned the Centre after the CBI filed a fresh affidavit against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister in an assets case.
We have also talked to Behenji (Mayavati) and sought her views on the nuclear deal. She also is against it and willing to co-ordinate with the Left on the issue, CPI leader A.B. Bardhan said today.
Mayavati has not revealed her strategy on the trust vote, but is said to be trying to get several Samajwadi and Congress MPs to switch sides.