SP, BSP to jointly fight Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) on Monday announced their alliance for national elections in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The announcement came over a month after the two parties announced their tie up for the polls due this summer in their stronghold of Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for 80 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.
The SP will contest Balaghat, Tikamgarh and Khajuraho Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh. The BSP will contest the remaining 26 of the 29 seats in the state.
In Uttarakhand, SP will get Pauri Garhwal seat while BSP will contest Tehri Garhwal, Haridwar, Uddamsingh Nagar and Nainital seats, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati, said in a joint statement.
The BSP won two and SP one out of Madhya Pradesh’s 231 seats as the Congress wrested power from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state in December last year. The SP bagged 1.30% while the BSP got about five percent votes.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BSP won Rewa Lok Sabha seat in 1991 and 2008. In 2014, the BSP finished second in two Lok Sabha segments — one each in Gwalior-Chambal and Vindhya regions. The SP has never won a Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP swept the national polls in Madhya Pradesh in 2014 and won 27 out of the 29 LS seats.
Political analyst Girija Shankar called the BSP-SP pact in Madhya Pradesh nothing but an extension of their Uttar Pradesh alliance. He said it is symbolic and is not going to make any impact on the Congress and BJP’s poll prospects. “These parties just want to convey a message that they are not a part of Mahagathbandhan [the proposed grand alliance of Opposition parties] and they are maintaining a distance from the Congress too.”
The SP and BSP have no seats in the Uttarakhand assembly. The BSP had won three seats in the 2012 state polls. In Uttarakhand, the BSP-SP alliance can impact the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat, where Muslims account for 34% of the population and Dalits 21.76%.
The two communities are among the main support bases of the two parties. Congress leader and former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat is likely to contest the Haridwar seat, which he had won in 2009. BSP failed to win any seat in the 2017 polls in Uttarakhand. It had won three seats in Haridwar in 2012.
“The Haridwar LS constituency has core voters of BSP, which includes Muslim and Dalits. BSP candidate in Haridwar will pose a major challenge to the Congress,” said Dehradun-based political analyst SMA Kazmi. He added that the alliance will not make much impact elsewhere in Uttarakhand.