Mumbai: After Uttar Pradesh (UP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided to stitch an alliance together in Maharashtra as well. They will contest all 48 seats in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that the alliance would provide an alternative to the people in Maharashtra. âAfter our decision to contest all 48 seats, a third front will be available. We represent 85-90 per cent of society,â he said.
The Congress made Muslims, Dalits and the backward classes âhelplessâ because there was no third alternative available to the people. In fact, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were two sides of the same coin, said Mr Azmi.
He claimed only the SP-BSP alliance was strong enough to stop the BJP from winning over 5-7 seats in Maharashtra. A committee has been formed to decide the seat-sharing formula between both parties and it will be announced in a couple of days.
BSP MP Ashok Siddharth said the Congress only made policies for Muslims, Dalits and backward classes on paper but those policies could never penetrate to the ground level and that the SP-BSP would ensure these policies reach the common man.
BSP chief Mayawati will attend a public rally in Nagpur on April 5 and that the state leadership of both parties will request SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to attend the meet as well, said Mr Siddharth.
According to political experts, the SP-BSP alliance could prove detrimental to the Congress-NCP combine. Both SP and BSP have their pockets of influence in Maharashtra where they may not win but could get a sizable amount of votes to influence the outcome of the election.
The coalition between Prakash Ambedkarâs party and the AIMIM has also announced 37 candidates and could hurt the Congress-NCP in areas such as Akola, Aurangabad and Solapur.