The Karnataka fever has reached Uttar Pradesh where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to poach legislators of the Samajwadi Party so as to deny the status of leader of opposition to the Samajwadi Party in Vidhan Sabha.
“Some legislators of Samajwadi Party are in touch with us. They are willing to join BJP. Some are even interested to form a separate group and support either BJP or Pragatisheel Samajwadi party (Lohia) of Shivpal Singh Yadav. If this happens Samajwadi Party will lose the status of Leader of opposition in Vidhan sabha,” a senior Minister in the Yogi government told this reporter.
In the 403 member lower house Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs. Two have them – Shivpal Singh Yadav and Nitin Agarwal – have already deserted SP, though officially both are still SP members. Shiv Pal has formed his own party while Nitin’s father Naresh Agarwal has joined BJP. Thus, the actual strength of the party is 45. To enjoy the status of Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha the party should have 41 members. If six members desert SP the strength will come down to 39.
The game plan of BJP is simple. It wants to weaken the Samajwadi Party further after the ignominious defeat it suffered in the Lok Sabha elections where even the members of the Yadav clan lost. Thinking in the BJP is that if SP loses the status of LoP in Vidhan Sabha it would be a moral victory for them.
One of the SP legislators, who is said to be in touch with BJP leaders, questions as why lawmakers should not leave SP. “Please tell me one reason of not doing so,” he asks. He takes a long pause and says: “It is over a month and a half since Lok sabha results have been announced and no review of the poll debacle has taken place till date. The way Mayawati treated us and blamed our workers and cadre for not supporting the mahagathbandhan is no less than a humiliation. Has any senior leader came up with a rebuttal telling Mayawati that her party could not have won 10 seats had not Yadavs and SP core vote not voted for BSP candidate,” he said.
The law maker further says: “Go to the village and see people’s reaction. They laugh at us. They openly say Behanji ne thug liya (Mayawati has cheated you). But we do not have an answer.”
The BJP is trying to play with the sentiments of the lawmakers who are feeling frustrated due to the recent happenings in Uttar Pradesh.
“Politics is the game of giving messages. We want to give a big statement that Samajwadi Party is incapacitated party where even the leaders are not happy. If we do it it will be a big gain for us,” the minister in Yogi government said.