BSP And SP Coming Together Is More Than What Meets The Eye: Experts
The alliance of two political foes Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls has implications for the relations between the communities these parties seek to represent.
The alliance of two political foes Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls has implications for the relations between the communities these parties seek to represent. Observers believe the alliance is more than a mere political marriage of convenience.
At a joint rally of BSP supremo Mayawati and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, the two leaders generously showering praises on each other. Despite being arch-rivals, even political foes, since 1995, the two were seen comfortable in each other's presence days back at Mainpuri.
The astute Mayawati chose the occasion to attack their common political enemy Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She also went to the extent of crediting Yadav with being the “real” leader of the backward castes. She claimed Modi was as ‘farzi’ (fake) leader of the OBCs. The context of this attack was the Prime Minister’s claim that Congress president Rahul Gandhi's barb that all “all Modis” were thieves was an attack on the backward community he belongs to.
A much more restrained Yadav said,"Mayawati and I are on the same dais after a long time. We welcome and thank her.” Yadav is contesting from Manipuri and sought votes from people for his election to the Lok Sabha.
Yadav had surprised many recently when he had wished Modi another victory during his last speech in the present Lok Sabha as a member.
Social activist Arvind Murthy claims that the alliance is a result of the ground realities in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh.
“The Modi rule at the Centre and Adityanath's (UP Chief Minister) rule in UP have created a sense of insecurity in both the backward and Dalit communities in the state of Uttar Pradesh as well as elsewhere in the country. The alliance between these communities has already occurred in the villages mid-way during the last five years. The alliance of the BSP and SP is just a reflection of the ground-level dynamics,” says Murthy.
The fear that the SP and BSP cadre would be in disarray with the falling fortunes of the two parties is another reason why the alliance was crafted. The two parties felt that another defeat could make their party workers look for greener pastures like the BJP, he adds.
After the 1995 Lucknow guest house attack on Mayawati purportedly by SP workers, the two parties had fallen apart. This had happened after they had succeeded in dislodging the BJP from power in the state in 1993 by fighting the polls in alliance. The polls, taking place just after the Babri Masjid demolition, threw a hung assembly. The SP and BSP joined hands to oust the BJP, which remained the single largest party.
The book ‘Behenji’ by Ajoy Bose describes the guest house attack as the turning point in Dalit-OBC politics in India. Talking to Asiaville, Bose says the combination will have a major bearing on the poll results.
“This is not a top-down alliance. It is a bottom-up approach and is slated to be a game changer. It was made possible because the workers of the parties were asking for it,” said Bose.