BJP’s decision to induct Mayawati’s one-time lieutenant Babu Singh Kushwaha may sound a death knell for its probable post-poll alliance with the BSP in case of a fractured verdict.
With Uttar Pradesh heading for a fierce four-cornered battle of ballots, political pundits were predicting a hung house with two probable post-poll combinations — BSP-BJP and Samajwadi Party-Congress-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine.
“These are the obvious combinations if no party gets a simple majority,” said Sunil Kumar, a voter in Lucknow.
Though BJP leaders have so far denied the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the BSP, the voters do not believe them. “It is just posturing to attract anti-Mayawati votes, especially of Brahmins,” was the refrain.
The two have together ruled the state thrice, despite bickerings between Mayawati and senior BJP leaders like Kalyan Singh and Rajnath Singh.
But now, after the induction of Kushwaha, the prospects of the BSP-BJP combine have dimmed. “The party leadership plans to use Kushwaha to expose Mayawati, besides projecting him as a leader of the backward Kushwahas,” said a government officer. “She will not forgive them now.”
A third possible combination could be that of Congress-BSP.
The Congress and the BSP went to polls together in 1996, when PV Narasimha Rao was the prime minister. The combine did not last long.
The Kushwaha-effect may also be felt in Uttarakhand. The BSP had won eight seats there in 2007, and the party may improve the tally this time.
It is expected that Uttarakhand too is headed for a hung house. “There is no major gap in the voting percentage for both the parties, which have ruled the state by rotation. With the BSP and smaller groups upping the ante, hung house may become a reality,” said Uday, a voter, in Haridwar. In that case, the BSP may emerge as the kingmaker.