HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

BSP snubs Cong, rejects poll alliance

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 12, 2014
First Published: 23:52 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 01:28 IST(13/8/2014)

In a snub to the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has rejected its proposal to have a pre-poll alliance in four election-bound states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.

BSP sources told Hindustan Times that the Congress had approached Mayawati’s party with an offer to form a “secular alliance” in attempt to stop the BJP from coming to power in these four states.

“They (Congress) tried to put a lot of pressure on us to join hands and fight BJP. But we can’t afford to go with Congress,” a senior BSP leaders said on the condition of anonymity.

“We suffered badly by supporting the UPA government for five years from outside,” he said, citing the outcome of the recent Lok Sabha elections in which the BSP failed to open its account from any state, especially Uttar Pradesh.

“The stock of Congress party are falling across the country,” he added.

In Maharashtra, the party had conveyed to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) that it was ready to forge an alliance provided the Congress is kept out of that coalition.

The BSP is now preparing to fight the coming polls on its own in these states and the focus would be on strengthening its vote base.

The party leadership is of the firm opinion that the BSP should expand its base and not get discouraged by the poll outcome. “Even if we don’t get a single seat in these states we won’t be disheartened,” the leader said.

For the Lok Sabha elections too, the Congress had expressed its desire to have an all India alliance with the BSP, which has presence in many states.

In their separate set of suggestions to a Congress panel on alliances, headed by the then defence minister AK Antony, these general secretaries had stated that a pre-poll alliance with the BSP would be “beneficial” to the Congress in future elections.

But that time too, the BSP had rejected the offer.

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