LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj party leader Mayawati is the buzzword in Lucknow these days. Her importance has increased after the civic polls in Uttar Pradesh placed her far ahead of even the Bharatiya Janata party, with the political parties virtually in election mode for an Assembly election that is still over a year away.

Mayawati herself has become more audible since, and has been sharply critical of the Bharatiya Janata party and its government at the centre. She has not spared the Congress either. And has placed Minister VK Singh effectively in the dock for his anti-Dalit remarks, with her party boycotting him in the Rajya Sabha and she herself attacking him and the NDA government for being anti-Dalit.

BSP Chief Mayawati on Sunday hit out at the NDA government accusing it of having an anti-Dalit mentality. She said that "indecorous" remarks made against the Dalit community by those holding high offices are being ignored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. She was referring to Minister V.K.Singh for his infamous dog comment, and who remains in government. Significantly, a day after the Congress party joined her in attacking Singh, and held a protest demonstration demanding his removal from government.

The BJP has been focusing on the Dalit vote in both Bihar, that did not work in its favour, and in Uttar Pradesh. In a statement on the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar Mayawati hit out with, “like the previous Congress government, the present BJP government has done nothing concrete for the followers of Baba Saheb but has only made hollow statements."

She said while on the one hand Parliament is discussing commitment towards the Constitution to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, ministers, Governors and other leaders of the Narendra Modi government are insulting Dalits and backwards from the minority community.

"There is a marked difference in what the Modi government practices and preaches," she said.

She said this was the "first government at the Centre where the ministers seem to be out of control and making irresponsible and indecorous remarks against ignored Dalits and Muslims."

"The latest remarks of Singh have crossed all limits of decency. It is sad that no head of any Constitutional body took notice his statement and initiated any action. We were forced to boycott him at least in the Rajya Sabha," she said. Mayawati drew a blank in the last Lok Sabha elections, winning not a single seat.

Mayawati compared the BJP and the Congress with,"it is now difficult to the believe that the present government will do something different from the Congress regime to help the common man from burning issues the nation is facing... it is a bitter truth that such a communal mindset was displayed when the Prime Minister made an anti-Muslim remark on 2002 Gujarat riots in an interview ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls." She claimed that the atrocities against the Dalits, tribals, Muslims had gone up since the BJP came to power at the centre and the states.

While keen on striking a deal with Mayawati in UP, most political parties find her ‘unpredictable’ and remain wary. This time, however, given the visible disaffection of the people with the Samajwadi party, the BSP is again emerging out of isolation. The zila parishad polls in the state have demonstrated that she retains her basic constituency, a result that has made all others sit up and take notice. Both the Congress and the BJP are keen to stitch up workable alliances, and both are against tie ups with Mulayam Singh Yadav at this stage.

However , there is no doubt that even the state capital is talking about Mayawati these days as the possible counter to the BJP when elections are held. Unless of course, she decides to ally with the BJP by then as she has several times in the past.