Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati’s attack on the Congress on the issue of petrol price hike has left her own party cadres confused.
Party workers cannot understand the provocation behind the attack on the Congress at a time when talks of an opposition alliance are gaining ground in the country.
Hours after Ms Mayawati issued the statement on Tuesday; Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav supported the same and said that all political parties that have been in power at the Centre should be held responsible. The SP-BSP attack on the Congress, sources said, was a clear indication that both the parties did not want an alliance with the Congress because it could endanger their own vote base – Muslims for SP and Dalits for BSP. The Congress has been discreetly trying to win back these two vote banks that supported it till the reservation and temple issues became dominant in politics. A BSP functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Our party’s wavering stand is going to cost us dear. The BSP cannot afford to cross swords with BJP as well as the Congress at the same time and the hope for gains in the Lok Sabha polls.”
Echoing similar sentiments, a senior SP MLA said, “We have to accept the fact that we are a regional party and the main contest is going to be between alliances led by BJP and Congress. If our leaders feel that SP and BSP together can rout BJP from UP, they are mistaken. People, today, understand the difference between state and national elections and they know that SP and BSP on their own cannot stop the BJP. The statement agai-nst the Congress was totally uncalled for.” The SP’s unease with the Congress is apparently a result of its 2017 Assembly election experience when the SP and Congress, both suffered humiliating defeat.
The SP feels giving over 100 seats to the Congress was a mistake as its core voters, especially the Yadavs and other backward castes, did not vote for the Congress.
Moreover, both, SP and BSP want to play the Dalit-Muslim Backward card and getting the Congress on board could prove to be a mistake since the Congress is eyeing upper caste votes.