Samajwadi Party's 'PDA' Strategy Sparks Debate Over MP Jaya Bachchan's Rajya Sabha Renomination

Samajwadi Party's 'PDA' Strategy Sparks Debate Over MP Jaya Bachchan's Rajya Sabha Renomination

The SP leadership faces mounting pressure following the announcement of the Rajya Sabha election schedule.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 09:12 PM IST
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Jaya Bachchan | ANI

As the tenure of veteran cine star turned politician Jaya Bachchan in the Rajya Sabha approaches its end on April 2, the Samajwadi Party (SP) finds itself entangled in a dilemma over her potential re-election, amidst the party's emphasis on its PDA (pichchra, Dalit and alpsankhyak) strategy.

Bachchan, if granted another term, would secure her fifth stint in the upper house, trailing only behind SP chief national general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav, currently serving his fifth term. However, the SP leadership faces mounting pressure following the announcement of the Rajya Sabha election schedule.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi's social media post, decrying the potential re-nomination of Bachchan and accusing the SP of exploiting Muslims for votes, intensified the scrutiny on the party's candidate selection process.

Owaisi’s post on his X account, referring to the Jaya Bachchan’s seat falling vacant and Muslims in UP, said: “UP ke”PDA ke A” vote dijiye aur dari bichayein aap log. Kyunki aap koi filmi actor nahi hai jisko 4 baar Rajya Sabha bheja jaye. Kariye jawani qurban lekin apne liye Rajya Sabha mei ek seat mat mangna “bhaiya” se (He meant that Muslims are used by the Samajwadi Party for their votes and doing side work. And they are not a film star who could be sent to Rajya Sabha four times).

Owaisi's remarks sparked a heated exchange, with SP leaders defending the party's record of Muslim representation across various platforms.

In the wake of these discussions, a senior SP member, speaking anonymously, suggested that while Bachchan's contributions to the party were noteworthy, the PDA strategy might necessitate her replacement with candidates representing Dalits and non-Yadav OBCs. With existing Muslim and Yadav representation in the Rajya Sabha, the argument for diversifying the party's profile gains traction.

SP national secretary and spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary confirmed ongoing deliberations within the party regarding candidate selection, emphasising the relevance of the PDA framework. Chaudhary also underscored Bachchan's significance within the PDA spectrum, representing women's interests within the party's agenda.

Presently, the SP holds three Rajya Sabha seats, occupied by Yadav, Muslim, and Bachchan. With the party boasting a substantial majority in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, alongside support from allies, securing three seats in the upcoming elections appears feasible.

The filing of nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls closes on February 15, with polling scheduled for February 27 and results slated for announcement on the same day. As the SP navigates its candidate selection process, the tension between its commitment to the PDA strategy and Bachchan's potential re-election underscores the party's evolving political dynamics.

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