Maya sweeps, SP caves in

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By TAPAS CHAKRABORTY
  • Published 14.01.10
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Lucknow, Jan. 13: Mayavati today bagged a bountiful of seats to the state’s Legislative Council and capped the day of victory by turning benefactor of the national hockey team.

Two days before her 54th birthday, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, not known to be much of a sporting aficionado, announced a grant of Rs 5 crore to Hockey India to help sort out the crisis that the national team was embroiled in.

The impasse, which ended today, had begun with the Indian hockey probables for the World Cup refusing to join the training camp in Pune, demanding that they be paid their pending financial dues and incentives.

Mayavati’s show of generosity came hours after results of the Legislative Council elections began to be declared in the morning. For the first time the Bahujan Samaj Party had made inroads in the upper chamber of the legislature and won at least 31 of the 36 seats, which had fallen vacant and were up for grabs.

The results are not surprising since members of the upper House are elected by MLAs, MPs from the state and representatives of constituencies of various segments such as graduates, teachers, local bodies like municipalities and ethnic communities.

Given that the BSP has a thumping majority in the Assembly, its victory in the council was a foregone conclusion.

But what made the victory sweeter for Mayavati was that arch enemy Samajwadi Party ended up with a solitary berth, losing 21 seats.

The BSP so far had poor representation in the upper House of 100 members, holding just 22 berths. Now her party strength has jumped to 53, more than the majority mark.