Uttar Pradesh: Samajwadi Party Faces Exodus Of Key Allies Ahead Of Lok Sabha 2024 Elections

Uttar Pradesh: Samajwadi Party Faces Exodus Of Key Allies Ahead Of Lok Sabha 2024 Elections

The departure of key allies began approximately a year ago, as political parties geared up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, March 22, 2024, 08:07 PM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

The Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh is grappling with a significant challenge as several key allies have decided to part ways, throwing a big challenge to the main opposition party significantly altering the political landscape leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

This exodus of allies and leaders pose a formidable threat to the SP, which had fervently campaigned for a change in power before the 2022 assembly elections but fell short of its ambitions, albeit with some notable gains in seats and vote share.

The departure of key allies began approximately a year ago, as political parties geared up for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The trend gained momentum with the exit of Suheldeo Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and subsequently, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The latest blow comes from Apna Dal (Kameravadi), a staunch advocate of SP's political alliance strategy, which has opted to contest the elections independently, further complicating matters for the beleaguered party.

What makes this departure particularly challenging for the SP is the geographical spread of its erstwhile allies, each wielding significant influence in different regions of the state, from the east to the west.

Presently, the SP finds itself with only the Congress as a steadfast ally for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. While an SP-Congress alliance was stitched in 2017, it failed to yield substantial results. All eyes are now on Akhilesh Yadav, as he navigates the path to success in 2024 with only Congress support, a stark contrast to the broad coalition he had envisioned.

The recent history of electoral experiments by the SP reveals a mixed bag of outcomes. In 2014, contesting alone, the party managed to secure five seats, all won by family members. However, the subsequent alliance with BSP and RLD in 2019 failed to significantly improve the party's fortunes, but BSP got 10 seats.

In the aftermath of the 2019 elections, the SP realigned its political strategy, forging new alliances and welcoming defectors from other parties. This strategy bore fruit in the 2022 assembly elections, where the party witnessed a substantial increase in both seats and vote share.

However, the recent departure of key allies threatens to undermine these gains, putting the SP's electoral prospects in jeopardy once again.

As the SP grapples with the fallout from the departure of its allies, the road to the 2024 elections appears increasingly uncertain. With the political landscape in flux and alliances shifting, the SP finds itself confronting a formidable test of its resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity.

Leaders Who Deserted Samajwadi Party:

Here are the key leaders who have left the SP and their subsequent political moves:

1Om Prakash Rajbhar (SBSP): After the assembly elections, Rajbhar parted ways with the SP and joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In a strategic move to bolster support from the Rajbhar community, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not only appointed Om Prakash Rajbhar as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet but also entrusted him with a significant department, the Panchayati Raj.

2Jayant Chaudhary (RLD): The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), once considered SP's strongest ally, has also parted ways with the party. This departure, particularly impactful in Western Uttar Pradesh, is perceived as a major setback for the SP in the region. RLD has now aligned with the NDA. Furthermore, an RLD MLA has joined the Yogi Adityanath cabinet.

3. Krishna Patel (Apna Dal - Kamerawadi): Krishna Patel's elder daughter, Pallavi Patel, has been elected as an MLA under the SP symbol. However, Pallavi Patel has shown signs of dissent by openly challenging the SP's candidate selection in the Rajya Sabha elections. The Apna Dal (K) has announced its intention to contest elections from reserved seats in Phulpur, Mirzapur, and Kaushambi, further weakening the SP.

4. Dara Singh Chauhan: Considered a leader of the Noniya community, Dara Singh Chauhan left the SP and returned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was appointed as an MLC and subsequently became a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government.

5. Swami Prasad Maurya (Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party): After serving as the National General Secretary of the SP, Swami Prasad Maurya departed from the party and relinquished his membership of the Legislative Council. He has now founded a new political entity, the Rashtriya Shoshit Samaj Party, advocating for the interests of backward, Dalit, and minority communities.

SP's performance:

Lok Sabha Elections (Total seats 80):

2014 Lok Sabha Elections: 5 seats

2019 Lok Sabha Elections: 5 seats

Assembly elections (Total seats 403):

2017 assembly elections: 47 seats

2022 assembly elections: 111 seats

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