BSP looks for alliance partners to name Maya as PM candidate
The Bahujan Samaj Party is holding a month-long workers’ conference across the state to project party president Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha election but is refraining from passing a resolution on it.lucknow Updated: Jul 18, 2018 13:07 IST
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is holding a month-long workers’ conference across the state to project party president Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha election but is refraining from passing a resolution on it.
According to party insiders, instead of passing a resolution on its own, the BSP is waiting for like-minded parties to enter a pre-poll alliance and then propose her name as the alliance’s PM candidate.
A senior BSP leader, who did not wish to be named, said before the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BSP executive committee had passed the resolution to project Mayawati as the PM candidate.
“However, the party decided to change its strategy after talks of pre-poll alliance with the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (Secular), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Chhattisgarh Janata Congress. The BSP wants that the alliance partners should move the resolution to project Mayawati as their PM candidate,” he added.
“The BSP is waiting for the response of Congress and other like-minded parties,” he said.
BSP national general secretary Ramachal Rajbhar said Mayawati was the tallest dalit leader in the country and had appeal among all the communities.
“The alliance should project her as the PM as she has the charisma and support base to challenge Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election,” he said.
In the first workers’ conference in Lucknow on Monday, senior BSP leaders called upon party workers to help the party win maximum Lok Sabha seats and ensure that ‘behenji’ became the next PM.
Senior leaders, including Vir Singh, Bhimrao Ambedkar and RS Kushwaha, shouted slogans projecting Mayawati as the PM candidate but no such resolution was passed in the closed-door meeting.
In the national executive meeting in May too, no resolution was passed to project Mayawati as the PM candidate despite the demand of party leaders.
Addressing a press conference at her residence in Delhi on Tuesday, Mayawati directed the party leaders not to speak about alliance till the party leadership announces pre-poll ties with any party.
On Tuesday, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member Bhimrao Ambedkar had raised slogan in support of the BSP-SP alliance hinting that coalition between the two parties has been finalised.
Acting swiftly, Mayawati removed national coordinator Jai Prakash Singh after he said Congress president Rahul Gandhi could not become the country’s PM as his mother Sonia Gandhi was a foreigner.
“Singh’s comment upset Mayawati. The party leaders were asked to project her as PM candidate in the workers’ conference but they were not supposed to cast aspersions on the Congress president. By sacking Singh, Mayawati has sent across the message that she will not hesitate in sacrificing her loyal aides to keep the alliance intact,” the BSP leader said.
He said talks over seat-sharing were on with the SP but the pre-poll alliance would be announced only after Mayawati approved the seat-sharing formula.
SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said: “BSP is free to project Mayawati as the PM candidate but SP president Akhilesh Yadav has made it clear that the alliance partners will meet after the Lok Sabha election to choose the new PM.”
RLD spokesman Anil Dubey said the leader of the anti-BJP alliance would be chosen only after the coalition was finalised. “Talks are on for pre-poll alliance,” he said.
A senior Congress leader said the party leadership had already given signal to the BSP regarding pre-poll alliance in Lok Sabha election as well as three poll-bound states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
“Though BSP is pitching for Mayawati as PM candidate, the alliance leader will be elected after the seat-sharing formula is finalised,” he said.
Political observer RK Gautam said Mayawati, a dalit leader with a pan-India appeal, was trying to make BSP a major player in national politics.
“After three consecutive defeats in 2014 Lok Sabha and 2012 and 2017 assembly polls, Mayawati is going for alliance politics to regain lost ground,” he said.
First Published: Jul 18, 2018 13:07 IST