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'Will she, won’t she?' Those anxious moments leading up to Mayawati’s arrival

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    There was always a cloud over the participation of BSP supremo, Mayawati in the Karnataka assembly elections. After having entered into an alliance with the JD(S) prior to the dates of the elections being announced, there was speculation rife that Mayawati may call off the alliance as it could hurt the Congress.

    BSP chief Mayawati flanked by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda (L) and JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy (R) waves at her supporters during a campaign for Karnataka Assembly Elections in Mysore

    However, she put all speculation to rest and arrived in Mysore to address a rally along with the JD(S). In the lead up to Mayawati's arrival, there were some tense moments for the JD(S).

    First, she did not arrive in time and this set off rumours that the alliance would be called off. H D Deve Gowda and his son, H D Kumaraswamy had already arrived at the venue and finished their speeches. Mayawati was yet to turn up and this adds more fuel to the fire.

    Kumaraswamy went on to add that there were many forces who tried to feed negative information to Mayawati. She was misled that the JD(S) was joining hands with the BJP. She has however trusted us and will come and support us, he also said.

    All the speculation ended when the BSP supremo finally turned up at the venue. In her address, she said that the BJP and Congress were anti-Dalit and had failed to protect their interests. She urged the people to vote for the JD(S)-BSP.

    This was expected to be a grand event. However, the poor crowd turnout had some leaders fuming. Deve Gowda later admitted that the party workers had not taken part as per their expectation. He, however, added that the party has proven its strength.

    Mayawati also held a meeting with Gowda at a private hotel. This was followed by discussions with several Dalit leaders in Mysore. Mayawati is expected to make one more visit to the state in May and address another rally.

    Karnataka Assembly Election dates
    Date of notification April 17
    Last date to file nominations April 24
    Last date to withdraw nominations April 27
    Date of polling May 12
    Date of counting May 15

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