Mayawati’s ‘secret deal’ with BJP led to revolt within BSP
Five BSP MLAs have not only revolted against the official Rajya Sabha nominee of the party and joined the SP but took back their names as proposers of the BSP candidate
The BSP supremo Mayawati's ‘secret deal’ with the BJP has caused an unprecedented revolt in the party of Dalits, say observers.
The BSP, which tasted power in UP by stitching an alliance with the SP in 1993 and then with the saffron party in 1995, has faced many defections in the past but an open revolt by five MLAs against its official Rajya Sabha nominee of the party signifies:
- That Mayawati’s clutch over the BSP is weakening
- That Mayawati does not command moral authority over her MLAs or leaders
- BSP’s prospect in 2022 assembly election will be weakened
- Dalits may drift away from BSP in search of an alternative
Observers believe that seeds of the revolt were sown on the day when Mayawati announced candidates for seven seats in UP, where bypolls are due on November 3, in lieu of a seat in Rajya Sabha.
“BSP does not fight bypolls but when Mayawati announced candidates for seven assembly seats in UP, even her own party men were surprised. Power corridors in Lucknow were abuzz about the deal for
quite some time…Mayawati announced the candidates in bypolls first and then candidates for the Rajya Sabha were announced. Connect the dots, you will get the picture,” said a Lucknow watcher.
However, Mayawati’s plan fell flat when five BSP MLAs, namely Aslam Chaudhary, Aslam Rainee, Mujtaba Siddiqui, Hakim Lal Bind and Givind Jatav, not only revolted against the official nominee of the party and joined the SP but took back their names as proposers of the BSP candidate Ramji Gautam, jeopardizing his candidature.
Shahnawaz Alam, head of the UP Congress minority cell, says, “Mayawati fielded candidates primarily to divide the Congress’ vote”.
Given the numbers in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, BJP could have easily won nine out of ten Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, but the saffron party has announced candidates on 8 seats only and left one seat for the BSP. BJP has 304 MLAs in Uttar Pradesh assembly.
According to analysts, BSP fielding Muslims candidates in Muslim-dominated seats such as Bulandshahar Sadar is aimed at eating Congress’ minority votes. BSP has fielded Haji Yunus, the brother of former MLA Haji Alim. In this assembly seat, over one lakh Muslim voters play an important role in deciding the victory.
Congress’ candidate Sushil Chaudhary is being seen as a strong contender but Alam says, “Division of Muslim votes among three opposition parties would benefit the BJP…BSP has fielded a Muslim candidate in this seat at the behest of the BJP.”
Published: 28 Oct 2020, 6:39 PM