The Left and the BJP came out in defence of Mayawati and charged the government of using the CBI to harass political opponents. The BJP and the RSS accused the Congress of “betraying” the Left, while the Left made it clear that its members will vote against the government.
CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “History is not going to judge people by the co-travellers in a train. History’s evaluation is: ‘Have I completed my journey?’.
” The BJP echoed him, as senior leader Venkaiah Naidu said, “I am not going to get off the Rajdhani Express because a Left leader is co-passenger. Our goal is to see that the government goes.
” An editorial in the RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya also hailed the “courage” shown by CPM general-secretary Prakash Karat. Left leaders are in touch with several anti-Congress regional leaders.
However, for many parties such as the JDS, talking to the Left is merely a tool to raise bargaining power vis- and #224;-vis the Congress. The Left is also keen to get Mayawati into its orbit, but the Dalit leader has reservations, given her national ambitions – for one, the BSP is challenging Om Prakash Chautala in Haryana.