Onus more on SP to take on might of BJP top guns
If one takes a look at the constituencies given to it under a seat-sharing understanding with the BSP, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is poised to take on the might of BJP top guns in the Lok Sabha elections.
Of the 37 seats it got, many are at present represented by BJP stalwarts, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Varanasi), Union Home minister Rajnath Singh (Lucknow), Union ministers Maneka Gandhi (Pilibhit), Uma Bharti (Jhansi), VK Singh (Ghaziabad), Anupriya Patel (Mirzapur) and Santosh Gangwar (Bareilly).
Also, the seats represented by senior BJP leaders Murli Manohar Joshi (Kanpur), BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey (Chandauli) as well as Gorkahpur and Phulpur have come SP’s way. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had won from Gorakhpur while Phulpur was wrested by deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Samajwadi Party in ‘alliance’ with BSP, however, secured victory on both Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats in the by-polls held in 2018.
Among the 38 seats allotted to the BSP, seats represented by BJP top guns include Ghazipur -- Union minister Manoj Sinha, Shahjahanpur - Union minister Krishna Raj and Fatehpur - Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti. Sultanpur seat represented by senior BJP leader Varun Gandhi as well as Agra won by Rama Shankar Katheria in 2014 LS election have also been given to the BSP.
A senior SP leader, who did not wish to be named, said the SP-BSP coalition was also termed as an alliance between the ‘bua’ (Mayawati) and the ‘bhatija’ (Akhilesh). “Though Mayawati is a senior politician yet a younger and energetic Akhilesh is expected lead from the front and carry out the tough task of stopping the BJP,” he said.
Political observer RK Gautam said majority of the BJP top leaders are from the seats located in East UP, which is considered strong base of the SP. “Looks like the allocation of seats has been done under some strategy. That’s why the seats represented by senior BJP leaders have been allotted to the SP. Akhilesh has friendly terms with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who may go for friendly fight on the seats on which SP is taking on the might of the BJP top guns. Then you have the BSP which has the capacity to transfer its vote as well,” he said.
Speaking on the issue, BSP national president Ramachal Rajbhar said the BSP-SP alliance itself was a formidable challenge for the ruling BJP on all the seats the alliance was contesting.