BSP-SP alliance a minor irritant' for Congress in MP

The BJP, on the other hand, has dismissed the Bua-Bhatija factor as absolutely no issue for the party in the Lok Sabha polls.

Bhopal: The alliance sealed between Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) last week for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh seems to have hardly created any ripples in the ruling Congress and Opposition BJP here.

The Congress has brushed aside the development saying the combination may prove at best a””minor irritant” in the polls, not warranting any concern for the party.

On February 25, the BSP and the SP declared to fight together in the parliamentary elections in MP, sharing 26 seats and 3 seats (Balaghat, Tikamgarh and Khajuaraho) between them respectively.

“The November 2018 Assembly elections have clearly indicated a declining base of the BSP in MP. We foresee the alliance will have no significant impact on our prospects in 2019 LS elections,” a spokesman of Congress here told this newspaper.

The BJP, on the other hand, has dismissed the Bua-Bhatija factor as “absolutely no issue” for the party in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Our vote base is consolidated, but the alliance may hurt Congress since the party enjoys a common vote base with the BSP among particular communities,” BJP spokesman Rajnish Agrawal said here.

If the polling trend in the last three Assembly elections in MP is any indication, the BSP has a reason to worry for a gradual erosion of its base in the state.

The party's vote share has declined from 8.72 per cent in 2008 to 6.29 per cent in 2013. It has further come down to 5 per cent in 2018 Assembly elections.

The SP, too, has faced the similar fate. The party which had seven MLAs in MP Assembly in 2003 has a lone legislator in the House now.

The party's vote share has reduced from 3.71 per cent in the 2003 Assembly elections to 1.3 per cent in the 2018 polls.

In the recent Assembly elections in MP, the BSP, which had contested 227 out of total 230 seats, could win only two seats while the SP bagged one.

However, both the parties had come second in five seats each.

The 2018 Assembly elections in MP threw a fractured mandate returning the Congress to power with 114 seats. The BJP lost power narrowly by securing 109 seats.

On the other hand, BSP leaders appear confident of faring well in LS polls.

“The surge in awakening among the dalits, witnessed of late, particularly in the Gwalior-Chambal region, has rekindled hope to restore our base in the belt. We are going to spring a surprise in the polls,” a senior BSP leader here said.

Violence, triggered by the April 2, 2018 stir by dalits against the Supreme Court's decision to dilute certain provisions of SC, ST Act, had engulfed the entire Gwalior-Chambal region then, leading to death of a couple of people.

“Our ongoing Sankalpa Yatra, which commenced on February 22, has been evoking an enthusiastic response in the Gwalior-Chambal region. The yatra has already covered 17 out of total 29 parliamentary constituencies in the state,” said state BSP president D.P. Choudhury who is currently leading the party campaign.

Incidentally, the BSP made debut in the Lok Sabha in 1991 by winning the Rewa seat in Gwalior-Chambal region. The party later won the seat in 1996 and 2009. The party had also taken the MP strongman and former chief minister Arjun Singh by surprise by trouncing him in the Satna Lok Sabha seat in 1996.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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