By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Feeling threat from Congress under the leadership of hyperactive Priyanka Gandhi, Samajwadi Party national President Akhilesh Yadav has ruled out alliance with any national Party. Launching direct attack on Congress, Akhilesh Yadav recently said that it was following BJP. Samajwadi Party national President Akhilesh Yadav is very critical of Congress and leave no opportunity to criticise it.
There is realisation in Samajwadi Party that Priyanka Gandhi was working very hard to win over support from different sections of society and was always on the move to take on BJP government whether on farmers issue or atrocities on women and other issues like malnutrition and bad governance. SP leader feels that a strong Congress under the leadership of Priyanka could poach on Muslim support of party.
With BSP leader Mayawati maintaining low profile, there is direct competition between Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi to project their party as the main opposition in UP. Akhilesh Yadav had bitter experience with Congress in 2017 poll when he joined hands with Rahul Gandhi with new slogan, “UP ko yeh saath pasand hai”.
As per the alliance, Samajwadi Party left as many as 118 seats for Congress. In those constituencies Samajwadi Party leaders and workers were not happy with seats given to Congress. And they did not work for Congress candidates and there was no transfer of votes to either party. Interestingly, as many as 30 candidates from Samajwadi Party contested on Congress tickets as national party could not arrange proper candidates. Then there were issues of friendly contest in certain seats.
In all, there was total confusion as both the parties failed to transfer their votes resulting very less number seats for both as well as decline in vote percentage resulting in total gain for BJP which came to power in UP. Akhilesh Yadav repeatedly said that he would have alliance only with smaller parties. He is in touch with Jayant Choudhry of RLD, Chandrashekhar Ravan of Bheem Army and Kesav Maurya of Mahan Dal.
There is a realisation that a large number of Dalits especially youth had shifted to Bheem Army from BSP. Since Chandrashekhar Ravan is accessible and fight for the causes of dalits, dalit youth is more inclined toward him. Recently Akhilesh Yadav addressed public meeting with Mahan Dal which attracted huge crowd.
Significantly RLD and Samajwadi joined hands on the issue of farmers agitation. The leaders from both the parties jointly addressed kisan panchayats. Jayant Choudhry has expressed his desire to contest next assembly polls in 2022. Now, preparations are being made by the leaders of both the parties for joint public meeting at Mathura to be addressed by Akhilesh Yadav and Jayant Choudhry. The combination of Akhilesh Yadav, Jayant Choudhry, Chandrashekhar Ravan and mahan Dal could change the political scenario with Jats, Muslims, Dalits and backwards joining hands could upset BJP and BSP in western UP.
BJP is also watching these developments as farmers agitation had damaged its support which enabled victory in 2017 assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. (IPA Service)