Cornered at PAC, BJP sees votes for UP polls | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Cornered at PAC, BJP sees votes for UP polls

The BJP sees virtue even in the BSP and SP's sudden "support" to the Congress in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament days back.

delhi Updated: May 03, 2011 23:51 IST
HT Correspondent

The BJP sees virtue even in the BSP and SP's sudden "support" to the Congress in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament days back.

The BSP and SP MPs had reportedly come around to back the Congress' opposition to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi's "report", reducing support for the report to a minority.

BJP leaders feel that this will make the "anti-Mayawati upper caste vote" in UP seeing the BJP and Congress as possible alternatives return to the BJP.

The argument: this vote will go to the party that is seen as consistently anti-Mayawati - particularly on the "corruption" plank - and the Congress will tie itself in knots by taking support from the BSP over corruption at the center.

The BJP believes that sections of Brahmins that had gone with the BSP last time are desperately seeking an alternative.

"In UP, Mayawati is being roundly attacked over corruption by all other parties," said a senior BJP leader.

"At such a time, the BSP, SP and Congress being on the same side in the PAC would benefit the BJP in the state."

"Rahul Gandhi will not sound convincing attacking the BSP when that very party bails out the government at the center when it comes to allegations of corruption," he said.

"The upper castes, particularly Brahmins, looking for an alternative to the BSP, would want to go to either BJP or Congress. But we can attack the BSP more consistently than the Congress, which is increasingly going to battle this contradiction as the year advances."

BJP leaders say that if the party gets back its traditional vote - which could also go to Congress - it would again breach the 20% vote mark in the state, which would result in an upward revision of its seat tally.

UP is crucial to the BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha prospects, as it would be virtually impossible for it to come back to power without an improved vote base in the state.

The party is virtually absent in south India, except Karnataka, while archrival Congress has a presence in the region.

The BJP is also weak in Bengal and the northeast, where, again, the Congress has presence.

Thus, its campaign around "corruption" notwithstanding, the BJP has little chance of success unless it consolidates in the Hindi heartland - where UP is by far the biggest state with 80 seats - as its geographical spread is limited.