Manipuri, April 19: Twenty-four years since they parted ways following the bitter "guest house" episode, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati was all praises for her longtime arch-rival and aging patriarch of Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav, calling him one of the greatest leaders of the backward communities.
Taking a jibe at the Prime Minister, the Dalit icon said Mulayam is a real leader of the backward community, "unlike fake Narendra Modi". This was part of the BSP chief's political speech following the 48-hour curb imposed on her for violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). Mulayam Singh Yadav's Flip-Flops to Benefit BJP and Singe BSP-SP Alliance?
"He (Mulayam) is a real backward as he was born in a backward community while Modi is a fake backward and everyone knows that during his tenure in Gujarat he made his forward community backward," she said.
The gesture was reciprocated by Mulayam, who not only agreed to share stage with Mayawati at the joint SP-BSP rally in Mainpuri, but also told the gathering that he "always had deep respect for Mayawati ji".
"Today Mayawati ji has come and we welcome her. Always respected Mayawati ji because even in bad times she has always stood by our side. And I am happy that she has come in my support," the former chief minister said.
Notably, Mulayam was charged in 1995 by the BSP of sending "goons" to the state guest house in Lucknow where Mayawati was camping with her legislators, after hinting that she could break the then coalition with the SP and ink a pact with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The infamous incident also allegedly involved an attack on Mayawati -- referring to which, the BJP has been dissing the fresh SP-BSP tie-up as "unholy" and "deeply opportunistic".
The two parties came together last year, after experimenting a coalition in the bypolls in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana. The three BJP strongholds were wrested by them in 2018 after fielding a joint candidate.