By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: BSP national president Mayawati is now more confident about entering into alliances with other regional parties after the successful experiment in Karnataka with JD(S).
She hopes that after winning one assembly seat out of 17 seats it contested in Karnataka in alliance with JD(S), BSP will be able to bargain hard with Congress to form an alliance with SP-BSP and RLD in UP.
BSP polled a total of 1,02,451 votes in the Karnataka election, of which 71,792 votes went to its lone winning candidate. In 2013 the BSP had got 2,84,768 votes from 173 assembly constituencies. This time 11 out of the 17 seats given to BSP by JD(S) were in the general category and there was no understanding at the ground level. Also, the party candidates had no support from JD(S), which avoided any campaign for the alliance partner.
It may be noted former PM Devegowda had entered in to an alliance with the BSP primarily to make a dent into the dalit support of Congress. Mayawati, however, claims that her party succeeded in transferring votes to the JD(S) candidates. At the same time she blamed Congress for projecting JD(S) as B team of BJP during campaign, which she described as nauseating. Such irresponsible campaigning not only harmed her alliance but helped BJP, she alleged.
Enthused by the success in Karnataka, Mayawati will now concentrate on the forthcoming by-elections in Kairana and Noorpur on May 28. The BSP leader and Akhilesh are in touch with other smaller parties to take on BJP.
It was only after RLD took action against the lone MLA for casting his vote in favour of BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls that Mayawati decided to support the party candidate in Noorpur. Both Mayawati and Akhilesh were upset when Congress had fielded candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections, where the BJP candidates were defeated while Congress drew a blank.
Having realised its mistake, Congress has now decided to support the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in the forthcoming Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly by-elections. The alliance has succeeded in getting support from left parties and the NCP.
It is understood that Mayawati is now in serious bargaining with Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which is crucial for BJP to win. With 6 per cent votes, two Lok Sabha and six assembly seats, Congress is asking for 10 Lok Sabha seats while the alliance leaders are not willing to give more than eight.
There is no doubt that the Karnataka results have boosted the morale of BSP and Mayawati, who is a strident critic of BJP and its politics.
The BJP had won 73 seats in the 2014 polls from UP. Now Akhilesh and Mayawati are making a concerted effort to seek support from smaller parties to take on BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabah polls. (IPA Service)