SP-BSP alliance in UP almost final, awaits Mayawati’s finishing touches
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati is likely to put the finishing touches to a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) for the Lok Sabha election when she visits Lucknow either at the month-end or the start of the new year, said a senior party leader who did not wish to be named.
Except for a few seats, the seat-sharing formula between the BSP and the SP had been decided, the party leader said. Once the alliance was announced, the hiccups over the remaining seats will be resolved, he added.
The BSP chief was working to form a third front of parties not allied with the BJP or the Congress, the party leader said.
Along with the SP, the leaders of the Indian National Lok Dal and the Janta Chhattisgarh Congress (JCC) had decided to project Mayawati as the PM candidate of the front, he claimed.
The BSP chief was also likely to rejig the organisation, showing the door to those with a poor record and accommodating the performers, he said. During her visit here, the BSP chief, who is camping in Delhi these days, will also review her party’s preparedness for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls at a meeting with party leaders in Lucknow in the first week of January.
The state unit, which is gearing up for the meeting, will be briefed about the seat-sharing formula with the SP as well as the campaign strategy for the Lok Sabha election, the party leader said. People familiar with the matter said Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had held deliberations with Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda, former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi, INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren. Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader and Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is likely to meet the BSP chief on Tuesday. The BSP chief has held talks with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar.
Attempts were being made to bring West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik into the third front, the BSP leader said.
The senior BSP leader said the state unit leaders will present a report about membership drive, constitution of booth committees, organisation of meetings of the bhai-chara (brotherhood) committees and cadre camps at the Lucknow meeting. After the review meeting, the BSP will start preparing for Mayawati’s 63rd birthday on January 15. The BSP has been celebrating the occasion as ‘Jankalyankari Diwas’ after losing power in the 2012 assembly election. “The party leaders assist the needy, poor and the handicapped. They also visit Dalit hamlets and hospitals and distribute fruit and blankets among the poor people,” said a senior BSP leader.
Mayawati is likely to release the new edition of her book, A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement, and a missionary calendar of the party in a programme organised at the state unit office.
Meanwhile, former SP MLA Ruchi Veera has joined the BSP and been made the party in-charge of the Bijnore Lok Sabha constituency. The BSP appoints its Lok Sabha candidates as in-charge of the parliamentary constituencies.