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#Mission2019: Will Mahagathbandhan circus triumph in UP?

Foe-turned-friends Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided to coagulate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday announced their alliance which is going to be a big turmoil in Uttar Pradesh politics. This alliance can be seen as a historic alliance in the state politics which has been claimed to extend for a long period in other states and for other elections as well by the leaders. This historic seat sharing pact is phenomenal for certain reasons. This alliance can be seen as a desperate survival attempt by both the parties against BJP which is currently ruling the state. Out of 80 seats, SP and BSP have settled for 38 seats each and remaining seats are left for Congress and other allies.

BSP’s Rajya Sabha MP and BSP coordinator for Maharashtra Veer Singh spoke to AV and said, “We are assured of our victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the Mahagathbandhan of BSP and SP. This alliance will wash off BJP from both the state and centre. We get the mandate of nearly 70-75 seats. This alliance will influence political wind in the other states too. Congress is a weak party in UP and thus not a part of the alliance. Party supremo Mayawati wants Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi to win from the Amethi and Raebareli seats and that’s why we have not fielded our candidates there.”

“BJP has spread communal tensions in the country and we don’t want the party to get the power again. 10 per cent reservation in the general category is an election jumla of BJP to disturb communal harmony,” added Singh.

As SP and BSP plan to transfer their vote banks completely to each other in this alliance which is Dalits and Muslim vote banks for BSP and Yadavs and Muslim vote banks for SP; it even shows that both the parties are not very keen to make Congress a part of this alliance but at the same time they’ve decided that they will not be contesting from Raebareli and Amethi which shows the hidden understanding between the three parties.

Congress at the same time will target the upper caste votes by fielding more upper caste candidates which means that the alliance will gather the votes of Dalits, Muslims, Yadavs, and also some part of OBCs. Moreover, the Rahul Gandhi-led party will try to divide the upper caste votes which means that with this stealth plan, Congress is definitely going to give BJP a run for the money if at all this vote transfer and defection happens.

UP BJP spokesperson Sameer Singh stated, “The BSP-SP alliance also happened in 1993 between SP’s Mulayam Singh and BSP’s Kanshi Ram. However, in that UP Assembly polls, BJP won around 173 seats. These two parties are of different ideologies and their vote banks too are different. BSP and SP are trying to bring Goonda raj in the state. Moreover, both the parties are supremely power hungry and the alliance will fail to run long. Where are the other parties in the Mahagathbandhan? This alliance won’t bother the mandate for BJP and we will retain power with a majority.”

He further added, “10 per cent reservation will work towards the benefit of a large number of people in the state and we have got a positive response for Triple Talaq ordinance.”

In 2014 elections, BJP saw 42.63 per cent of vote share which was almost same to SP (20 per cent) and BSP’s (22 per cent) combined vote share of 42.12 per cent. Both BSP and SP have a potential to win 50 out of its 73 seats of NDA and could win around 57 of the 80 seats as per political observers.

While BJP has bucked itself up for the 2019 elections with its announcement to offer 10 per cent quota for the economically backward in the general category which has a 20 per cent vote share in UP, it also eyes for 9 per cent votes of Yadavs which are traditional voters of SP and 12 per cent votes Jatav and Chamar which are the strength of BSP. Non Yadav OBCs (36 per cent) will also be woed by BJP apart from 20 per cent upper caste votes, whereas Dalits, Yadavs, and Muslims can come together under the SP-BSP alliance.

SP National Secretary Rajendra Chaudhary asserted, “The BSP-SP alliance is a historic association and it will wash away BJP from the state. Aligning with Congress for the 2017 assembly polls was an old story; for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, our strategy is to fight the election with BSP.”

Talking about how BJP’s ‘jumla’ of announcing 10 per cent reservation in the general category poor will not make any difference in the SP-BSP mandate, Chaudhary said, “We will win the polls with a majority. We can assure you that not a single seat will go to BJP this time.”

Cow vigilantism has led to communal violence in UP so much so that it has tormented the law and order situation in the state. The BJP voters have lately shown their dissent on Ram Mandir issue as they are disappointed with the saffron party’s inability to achieve their main and age-old agenda which was also reflected in the recent three Hindi heartland state elections.

Congress leader and AIMC General Secretary Nagma expressed, “All the parties in the Opposition are fighting the 2019 election with the same motto of dethroning BJP. We welcome the BSP-SP alliance; however, Congress alone will fight in every seat in the state and will field strong candidates. UP has seen massive unrest against reservation and BJP is trying to mislead people with its recent decisions. All BJP promises are yet to come into existence. All the BJP policies are to mislead the voters and Reservation to the general category is nothing but a political gimmick eyeing the general elections.”

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