BSP playing role of BJP's B-team in Lok Sabha polls, says Danish Ali

Congress leader claimed that Narendra Modi's criticism of him at a poll rally in Amroha last week showed the prime minister's "frustration"

Congress leader Danish Ali (photo: PTI)
Congress leader Danish Ali (photo: PTI)


Congress leader Danish Ali on Tuesday, 23 April, accused the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of playing the role of the "BJP's B-team" in the Lok Sabha polls and claimed the Mayawati-led outfit's candidates have been decided by the ruling party.

Ali, who is contesting from Uttar Pradesh's Amroha on a Congress ticket after switching over from the BSP, claimed that Narendra Modi's criticism of him at a poll rally in Amroha last week showed the prime minister's "frustration".

"This attack shows the prime minister's frustration. It is his frustration over my work in the last five years to expose the government on the floor of the House. They (the BJP) don't want a parliamentarian like me to return to the House and that is why they have put in their whole strength against me in the polls," Ali told PTI in an interview.

"Chief minister (Yogi Adityanath) is visiting Amroha for the fourth time in the last two weeks. A whole battery of BJP leaders are camping in Amroha. I take it as a challenge," he said.

Hitting out at the Congress candidate, Modi at the poll rally in Amroha last week alleged that Ali has objections in saying "Bharat Mata ki jai".

"Will a person who cannot accept Bharat Mata ki jai look good in the Indian Parliament? Should such a person be allowed entry into the Indian Parliament?" he had asked the gathering.

Hitting back at the prime minister, Ali said the BJP or Narendra Modi do not have a patent on "Bharat Mata" and those people who did not raise the tricolour at their ideological headquarters for over 50 years after Independence should refrain from making such comments.

Asked about his former party and its chief Mayawati attacking him, he said people know that the BSP and the BJP are both hand in glove to defeat the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) and particularly Danish Ali.

He claimed that the BSP leadership has moved away from the party's ideology.

"The party (BSP) has moved away from the basis on which it was formed. Today, it is a question of saving the Constitution. BJP leaders are saying that they will change the Constitution. None other than six-term MP Anantkumar Hegde said so. BSP stayed away from the INDIA bloc and its candidates were decided by the BJP," the Congress leader alleged.

He claimed that "100 per cent BSP is playing the role of the BJP's B-team".

Ali, however, added that now the workers of the BSP and Scheduled Caste organizations are coming out in support of the INDIA bloc because they know the danger is too much. "If they make a mistake, it would be a disaster for the country and for their reservation," he added.

His remarks come days after BSP chief Mayawati accused Ali of "betraying" the people of the constituency and the party.

Ali asserted that by joining the Congress, he has reached the "ultimate destination of his political and ideological journey" which will last for a lifetime.

"The Congress is the only party in the country which is the champion of social justice. Today's Congress under the leadership of party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi has a clear ideological stand. I have reached the ultimate destination of my political and ideological journey. This will last for my whole life," he asserted.

Asked about the row over BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri making derogatory remarks against him in Parliament and whether people's vote would be a verdict on that, Ali said, "I am getting the support of all communities, of all those people who are against this ideology of hate."

While Ali is contesting polls from Amroha again, Ramesh Bidhuri was dropped by the BJP and the ticket for that constituency was given to Ramvir Singh Bidhuri.

On Ramesh Bidhuri not being given a ticket by the BJP and some others also being dropped by the party, Ali said there is a lot of difference in words and actions of the BJP and the prime minister.

"They say one thing and do something else. On one hand, they talk about denying tickets and on the other hand the PM himself is making a hate speech," he alleged.

"Look at his speech in Rajasthan. This is the problem with the BJP. He (Modi) can do his best but this time the country is not going to be polarized on religious lines," Ali said.

Addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Banswara on Sunday, the prime minister said the Congress plans to give people's hard-earned money and valuables to "infiltrators" and "those who have more children".

He had said, "Earlier, when their (Congress) government was in power, they had said that Muslims have the first right on the country's assets. This means to whom will this property be distributed? It will be distributed among those who have more children".

Ali exuded confidence that he will win by a bigger majority than last time in Amroha.

He also claimed that last week's rally of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has made a big impact and marked the turning point in the election in the seat.

Ali, who won the Lok Sabha seat in 2019 on a BSP ticket, was suspended from the party "for anti-party activities" in January this year. He later joined the Congress, which fielded him from Amroha which will go to polls in the second phase on April 26.

After joining the Congress last month, he had said that going by the prevailing situation in the country, it is important to join the grand old party in the fight against "divisive" forces.

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