Lucknow: When Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati two days back made a scathing attack on the Samajwadi party (SP) government, little did Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav know that his predecessor sitting in the cool confines of a luxury hotel in New Delhi was adding heat to the already scorching summer in the state.
It is not without reason that the state government has expedited cases against the alleged irregularities. In the last two days, the otherwise mellow chief minister has begun to "pay back" the Dalit Diva in the same coin.
Usually his usual calm self, Akhilesh has criticized the BSP leader twice within three days and has taken decisions which are sure to further ruffle the feathers of Mayawati.
The state government Sunday pulled out the 3,000-strong maintenance and cleaning staff deployed at various monuments and parks made by the Mayawati government and said that they would now be deployed to clean up the city.
"The city is in a mess and we cannot allow such wanton waste of resources," said a close aide trying to justify the pull-out, while admitting in private that the "lady had called for such retribution."
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Sunday lashed out at the former chief minister and said, without naming her that people were feeling left out as their statues were not being erected any more.
"She is in opposition, her statues are no more coming up, people have punished her for her misdeeds, I have nothing more to add but that the SP government would work for the welfare of the people of the state," Akhilesh said.
Not only the chief minister but his close aides and senior cabinet ministers have also stepped up attacks on the BSP president.
Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mohd Azam Khan, known for his harsh-worded statements against rivals, Sunday said that the loot and plunder of Mayawati would be exposed before the people at "all costs."
Azam Khan says this is just the beginning of a larger probe after which many more skeletons would tumble out of the cupboard of the BSP supremo.
In his own imitable style, Azam Khan said he himself is shocked at the scams: "Itna paisa to kisi Mughal shehzaadi ne bhi apne mahal ko khoobsurat karne pe nahin lagaya hoga (No Mughal princess would have spent so much money to beautify her palace)."
He was referring to a recent RTI (Right To Information), which had disclosed that Mayawati had spent Rs.86 crore to redo her house, which is allotted to her as a former chief minister of the state.
Reacting to the BSP supremo`s ascerbic comment that transfers had become an industry under the Akhilesh government, Azam Khan said he found the charges of large scale transfers by the Yadav government "funny" and asked whether Mayawati expected them to run a government through the BSP`s handpicked officials.
"Is it not fair that these officials are just being transferred and not being sent to jail?" the minister questioned. Other than this, "a quiet missive has been sent to ministers and party legislators, asking them to expose the misdeeds of the Mayawati government and not let people be carried away by the attacks of her party men," senior legislator said.
"There is no point in being quietly watching as she and her leaders accuse us of political vendetta," the legislator added.
With both sides hardening their stand and the first session of the newly formed Vidhan Sabha (state assembly) slated for later this month, the war of words between the two arch rivals - the BSP and the SP, is only going to get shriller.