Existing, ex-partners looking to fill up space in SP alliance
Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), an SP ally since 2012, defended the party when Om Prakash Rajbhar and Shivpal Yadav unleased simultaneous attacks on Akhilesh, soon after the SP showed the door to the duo
LUCKNOW After the Samajwadi Party (SP) sent shock waves in political circles recently by breaking up with OP Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L), it appears that an existing and two exited alliance partners of the SP are looking at an opportunity to consolidate/restart their relationship in view of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), an SP ally since 2012, defended the party when Om Prakash Rajbhar and Shivpal Yadav unleased simultaneous attacks on Akhilesh, soon after the SP showed the door to the duo. Two other small outfits, which were co-allies of the SP in 2022 UP assembly polls, are now indicating intent to re-ally with the SP.
“Obviously, with Rajbhar and Shivpal out, these parties see more space to grow within the alliance. Among the alliance partners, Akhileshji visibly gave SBSP far more importance than Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), Mahan Dal or Janwadi Party (Socialist). Circumstances were such then as the SBSP was a bigger ally than these,” said an SP leader.
On July 24, SBSP chief OP Rajbhar and PSP-L counterpart Shivpal Yadav separately announced a split with the SP, responding to the ultimatum the SP had issued the previous day. On July 26, it issued a significant statement vis-a-vis the 2024 LS elections: “SP will fight elections together with the parties that stay together in times to come.”
Udaiveer Singh, senior SP leader and party spokesperson, said: “There are ways to discuss and sort out issues in an alliance. Constant badmouthing publically is detrimental to alliance spirit. We believe in upholding the alliance dharma.”
While Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) leaders largely stayed quiet after the SP alliance failed to win the 2022 UP elections, SBSP, PSP-L, and two other regional outfits – the Mahan Dal and Janwadi Party (Socialist) – began speaking against Akhilesh Yadav and the SP soon after the poll results. Mahan Dal’s chief Keshav Dev Maurya and Janwadi Party (Socialist) chief Sanjay Chauhan, apparently were also peeved with the SP for not giving them any legislative council berths. Both Maurya and Chauhan parted ways with the SP even before the SBSP and PSP-L.
Sanjay Chauhan started saying that his party was with Akhilesh while Keshav Dev Maurya has been making overtures to the SP for re-entry into the alliance. Maurya and Chauhan, though not SP allies anymore, attacked SBSP chief OP Rajbhar over his political behaviour. The Mahan Dal and Janwati Party (Socialist) had also expressed displeasure (in muted voice) when Akhilesh Yadav, during the 2022 polls, kept Rajbhar close in several of Akhilesh’s Vijay Yatra campaign.
Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) chief Krishna Patel, who kept her party’s relationship with the SP unruffled since the two allied in 2021, had earlier this month held a meeting with Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow and discussed 2024 LS polls. Her daughter Pallavi Patel, who is an SP MLA as she won the Sirathu (Prayagraj) seat on SP ticket, has been defending Akhilesh since Rajbhar began attacking him. To Rajbhar’s frequent jibe at Akhilesh that he does not venture out of air conditioned rooms, Pallavi said to newspersons late last month: “I had seen Akhilesh ji riding bicycle from morning to night, and riding Vijay Yatra rath from night to morning. In an alliance, responsibility is collective (for victory or defeat)...now that we lost the elections, they are blaming Akhileshji. But had we won the elections, the alliance partners would have been looking for their share in governance.”
Political analyst and former head of department of political science, Lucknow University, Prof SK Dwivedi said: “The opposition cannot even think of defeating the BJP without alliance and alliance requires political maturity. Let’s see how they behave.”
Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), SBSP, PSP-L, Mahan Dal, and Janwadi Party (Socialist) had joined the SP alliance ahead of the 2022 UP assembly polls, while the biggest and constant SP ally--Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had been SP ally since 2018.