In Maya’s thrall
The SP-BSP ‘gathbandan’ may have left the Congress rather lonely in UP, but UPA coalitionmakers have still not given up on Mayawati. Sharad Pawar, who’s overseeing the NCPCongress seat-sharing in Maharashtra, is said to be keeping a few seats in Vidarbha for the BSP. The exact seats are yet to be decided but there seems to be in no doubt that she’ll be “with us”. Meanwhile, in Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have not only left the GOP high and dry, they did not bother to invite RLD’s Jayant Chowdhury to share the dais when they announced the alliance. This gives notice to the speculation that the Congress too may be conjuring up a ‘gathbandhan’ of its own with smaller parties, including the RLD, the Nishad Party, the Peace Party and the SBSP, the Apna Dal, the last two disaffected NDA members.