The Bahujan Samaj Party’s decision not to tie up with the Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh is a blow to the Opposition’s plans to pose an effective challenge to the BJP-led NDA first in the Assembly polls and then in the Lok Sabha elections next year. Though nothing conclusive has been said on the latter, it appears inconceivable that the two parties would enter into an alliance solely for the Lok Sabha polls. While the wily BSP supremo Mayawati has praised Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi to keep her options open, she has distanced herself from the Congress with a pointed snub for Digvijay Singh.
If Mayawati is to be believed, in MP the Congress offered her a mere 15 to 20 seats of the total 230 while in Chhatisgarh the offer was for five out of 90. The figure for Rajasthan was not spelt out. Clearly, the crafty ‘behenji’ expects more and reckons that for the hold that she exercises especially among the scheduled castes and tribes this is poor compensation at a time when the BJP’s stock is on the decline due to the anti-incumbency sentiment. Now, it would be interesting to see whether the BSP tie-up with the Samajwadi Party in UP actually comes through.
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