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  India   All India  10 Mar 2019  Mayawati plan to fight all 40 LS seats in Bihar worries grand alliance

Mayawati plan to fight all 40 LS seats in Bihar worries grand alliance

THE ASIAN AGE. | NAYEAR AZAD
Published : Mar 10, 2019, 1:48 am IST
Updated : Mar 10, 2019, 6:03 am IST

The BSP has some influence in constituencies which share a border with neighbouring UP, such as Gopalganj, Kaimur, Rohtas and a few others.

BSP chief Mayawati has surprised many with her decision to go it alone in Bihar.
 BSP chief Mayawati has surprised many with her decision to go it alone in Bihar.

Patna: Taking a separate path from the grand alliance, Mayawati-led BSP has decided to contest the 2019 general elections on its own in Bihar.

According to BSP leaders in Patna, the party chief took a decision last month after analysing its strength and meeting potential candidates from Bihar.

“We have been asked by party chief Mayawati to begin preparations on all 40 Lok Sabha seats. A list of candidates is also being prepared and we are waiting for further instructions from her,” BSP state president Bharat Bind told this newspaper.

The development comes at a time when the grand alliance comprising the RJD, the Congress and several other smaller regional parties was trying to expand its base in Bihar to stop the BJP-led NDA from returning to power.

After clinching alliance in a politically important state of Uttar Pradesh in order to take on the ruling BJP, the BSP and the SP announced their poll pacts last month in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand. According to political analysts, Ms Mayawati’s decision to take a separate path in these states, including Bihar, is aimed at keeping the Congress out of the alliance.

The state NDA leaders, however, see this as a jolt to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav who had openly supported the Uttar Pradesh model after SP-BSP formed a strong anti- BJP alliance in January.

His pictures touching Ms Mayawati’s feet and greeting her was later circulated on the social media platform. In a statement, Tejashwi Yadav had said that he visited Lucknow to seek her blessings.

“With her blessings, we will move ahead and I feel that the BJP will be completely washed out of UP and Bihar after the BSP-SP alliance,” Mr Yadav had said.

Sources claim that Tejashwi Yadav who has been banking heavily on Muslim-Yadav (M-Y) combination floated by his father Lalu Yadav in 1990s and a section of OBCs is trying to improve its prospects among dalits in the state by trying to get closer to Ms Mayawati.

One such attempt was seen in July 2017 when RJD chief Lalu Yadav came out in support of BSP supremo Mayawati who had resigned from the Rajya Sabha and offered to send her to the upper house from Bihar.

“The Congress has a tendency to suppress and finish their coalition partners. There is a fear psychosis among the Mahagathbandhan allies. This is why SP and BSP have drifted apart from the Congress in UP, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand and now Ms Mayawati has decided to contest on all 40 seats in Bihar. As for the RJD, it lacks moral grounds or else it would also have broken the alliance with the Congress in Bihar,” BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand told this newspaper.

The BSP has some influence in constituencies which share a border with neighbouring UP, such as Gopalganj, Kaimur, Rohtas and a few others.

 In the 2015 Assembly elections, the BSP polled a meagre of 2.07 per cent of the total votes. Of the total 228 seats it contested, only three candidates managed to save their deposits.

In two previous Lok Sabha elections — 2009 and 2014, the BSP had contested on 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state without getting into an alliance with any other political party.

According to BSP Bihar in charge Lalji Medhankar, “We have been trying to expand our political base in Bihar and other places and our fight in the coming Lok Sabha elections would be against both the BJP and the Congress.”

Tags: mayawati, 2019 general elections