Current AffairsIndia

What is the fate of SP-BSP alliance in UP?

Lucknow, May 24(GCCurrentAffairs) The landslide victory of BJP in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh has put a question mark on the existence of SP-BSP alliance in the state but not without reviving the BSP at the cost of SP.

Congress, which contested alone in the state, indirectly helped the BJP in several seats while at least in eight seats, their presence led to the defeat of the alliance candidates.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won 62 seats along with 2 by its ally Apna Dal(Sonelal) while BSP, which went blank in 2014, emerged as the second largest party with ten seats. The SP continued to remain where it was in 2014 with 5 seats but Congress reduced to one seat from 2.

The vote share of the BJP also rose to 49.3 per cent from 42 they got in 2014 while the vote share of BSP was 19 per cent and SP was 18. However, Congress’ vote share dipped to 6.3 per cent this time.

Though the SP-BSP alliance may not have been able to get the expected numbers in the Lok Sabha elections, the tie-up did prove to be a boon for the ‘almost wiped out’ Bahujan Samaj Party, which secured a double digit win from the scratch.

RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary had once rightly credited Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav for being the “master of the alliance”. But the question that arises now is — how far has the move benefited the SP that failed to even retain Kannauj, the Yadav family’s stronghold for the last 20 years.

According to poll experts, the transfer of votes between the SP and BSP did not take place at the ground level as expected. While, SP transferred its Yadav vote to the BSP, the Dalit votes did not do the same for the SP. Though the Muslims supported the alliance candidates in most of the seats but lack of coordination between the SP-BSP workers led to the defeat.

The discussion has already started as to why the SP-BSP-RLD alliance did not include Congress in their bandwagon as in at least eight seats–Badaun, Banda, Barabanki, Basti, Dhaurahra, Meerut, Sant Kabir Nagar and Sultanpur– presence of Congress candidates led to the defeat of the alliance nominees.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said that the Congress candidates were being strategically placed to make a dent into the BJP vote bank, but it so turned out that the strategy cut into the vote share of the alliance.

Though Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav were tight lipped about the future of their alliance post the Lok Sabha results, much could be read between the lines, as Mayawati, who left for New Delhi last night, was the gainer in the alliance who even thanked the SP supporters for supporting the BSP candidates. But Akhilesh Yadav was still to get over the setback.

SP patriach Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had blessed Narendra Modi for second term in the Lok Sabha, had earlier predicted that Akhilesh had finished the party after going for alliance with the BSP and contesting just 37 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.

In the wake of 2014’s ‘Modi wave’, the Samajwadi Party managed to retain five Lok Sabha seats, which included Akhilesh’s seat, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s seat, Akhilesh’s wife Dimple Yadav’s seat, his cousin Dharmendra Yadav’s seat and his nephew Tej Pratap Yadav’s seat and his another cousin Akshay Yadav’s constituency. Meanwhile, the Bahujan Samaj Party, which was not having any kind of alliance with the SP then, could not even open its account and it was probably for the first time that BSP had won zero seats in Uttar Pradesh.

On the other hand, in 2019, when everyone expected ‘gathbandhan’ to do well in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party remained on five seats. However, the seats of Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav were lost to the BJP, giving a major setback to the party and the Yadav clan as well. On the other hand, BSP which had zero seats in 2014, jumped to 10 seats, ahead of Samajwadi Party.

Experts feel that the credit of reviving BSP should go to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, however, they also feel that this may have its own consequences in the long term.

‘Name of Akhilesh Yadav will be written in history for reviving a party which had gone down to zero seats in Lok Sabha polls. Also, there is a practical problem in the gathbandhan, when you analyse the results closely you will find out that seats which had majority of Dalits and Muslims were easily won. However, where Yadavs also played an important role, such seats swinged towards BJP. This makes it somewhat clear that the Yadavs have somewhat deserted their own party in the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls,’ a senior SP leader told UNI here on Friday after analysing the results.

The Samajwadi Party which was contesting on 37 seats as per their pre-poll understanding with BSP, won five seats of Azamgarh from where Akhilesh himself was contesting, Mainpuri from where Mulayam Singh Yadav was contesting, Moradabad from where ST Hasan was contesting, Rampur from where Azam Khan was contesting and Sambhal from where Shafiq Ur Rehman Barq was contesting. However the Bahujan Samaj Party candidates won from a total of 10 Lok Sabha seats including Ambedkar Nagar, Amroha, Bijnor, Ghazipur, Ghosi, Lalganj, Nagina, Saharanpur, Shrawasti and Jaunpur parliamentary seats.

Though many people believed that the alliance between SP and BSP will stop the BJP juggernaut but unfortunately it could not yield the desired results. The bonhomie between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party might have surprised many but it was not the first time the two parties had joined hands to spot BJP’s march in the Hindi heartland. However, the SP-BSP of 1993 could not last much due to growing political differences between Mulayam and Mayawati and both the parties went separate ways in 1995.

Also, before the 2017 state Assembly elections, sources suggest that BSP chief was not ready to forge any alliance with the SP as Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav was actively involved in Samajwadi Party then. However when Akhilesh Yadav took over as the national president, things started to change and the infamous ‘Guest House Incident’ was also laid to rest by the BSP chief.

Finally after a successful experiment in the Gorakhpur and Kairana by-elections, both the parties have now decided to come together and forge an alliance ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Via UNI-India

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