Mayawati Upsets the Assembly Poll Apple Cart: Congress-BSP Alliance in the Dock

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Her reasons for not entering into an alliance in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are rather flimsy. Significantly, she spared Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi from her tirade but she picked up senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, whom she called a “BJP agent who is opposed” to any tie-up between the two parties. A report for Different Truths.

Why BSP supremo Mayawati has backed out from an electoral alliance with the Congress for the coming assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh? Before she emphatically ruled out an electoral tie-up in the two key states, she forged a poll-pact with Congress rebel Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh. She has no chance in the three states but may damage the chances of Congress. And, what are the grounds on which she spurned alliance in the three key states in what is a precursor to next year’s Lok Sabha election? Her snub to Congress could also cast a shadow on efforts to forge a Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of opposition parties, including BSP, Samajwadi party and the Congress in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Her reasons for not entering into an alliance in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are rather flimsy. Significantly, she spared Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi from her tirade but she picked up senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, whom she called a “BJP agent who is opposed” to any tie-up between the two parties. “I feel Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s intentions for Congress-BSP tie-up are honest. But some Congress leaders including Digvijaya Singh, are sabotaging the alliance chances.”

Congress spokesman Surjewala clarified if the three leaders (Sonia, Rahul and Mayawati) are on the same page, no fourth person can disturb that equation. True, if Sonia and Rahul decide something, no leader in the Congress has gumption to oppose it.

Mayawati quoted Digvijaya Singh as saying, “Mayawati is under lot of pressure from the Centre, so she doesn’t want this alliance.” She rebutted the allegation she acted under threat of investigation of pending cases against by the CBI. She blamed Digvijay Singh for spreading “canards” against her.

Yet another reason for breakdown of alliance talk is Mayawati’s insistence that she should be given more seats in the three states. A Congress functionary said that BSP had demanded 50 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 15 in Chhattisgarh. “We were willing to concede nine in Chhattisgarh and 20-22 in Madhya Pradesh. As far as Rajasthan is concerned, our state unit has from the beginning opposed tie-up with any party”, he said.

Mayawati said the Congress had offered only 15 to 20 seats of 230 seats to BSP in Madhya Pradesh and five of 90 seats in Chhattisgarh.

Had the Congress not adopted an “adamant” attitude, she said, it could have got the benefit of alliance with the BSP, whose votes are not entirely transferable, she said. In such alliances the BSP suffers most rather than getting any benefit.

The BSP chief insisted that the Congress attitude was not to defeat the BJP but to weaken other opposition parties. That is unfortunate. The Congress had adopted similar tactics in the past and is continuing now. Even now it is not trying to change itself, she said.

In the last Lok Sabha and UP assembly elections BSP’s record was pathetic. The party drew a blank in 2014 poll and fared poorly in 2017 assembly election. Thus, the next general election will be a do-or-die matter for Mayawati. She has made a big mistake by declining to enter into alliance with the Congress in this year-end assembly election in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh in Chhattisgarh. If she acts in this way in next year’s Lok Sabha election, it may be end of BSP, judging by the performance of the party in Last Lok Sabha and UP assembly results.

Harihar Swarup
©IPA Service

Photo from the Internet


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