BSP-SP pact survival bid: BJP

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 12

Dubbing the anti-BJP grand alliance as a “failed experiment”, the BJP on Saturday said the SP and the BSP had come together for their 

survival and not for the interests of the country or Uttar Pradesh.

Downplaying suggestions that the alliance will have a major impact on the Lok Sabha polls, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said any grand alliance of Opposition parties against the BJP would bring in “anarchy, corruption and political instability”.

“They know they cannot fight Narendra Modi on their own and their opposition to him is the sole base of their alliance,” said senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

However, according to political observers, the alliance may spell tough times for the BJP in the state that sends as many as 80 members to the Lok Sabha. And the Congress not being a part of it could make matters even worse.

For the BJP, an SP-BSP alliance minus the Congress is a nightmare it would not like to relive after the Gorakhpur, Kairana and Phulpur experience. Had the Congress joined in, the BJP had a better chance of gaining upper castes votes—this even though the BJP believes its masterstroke of providing reservation to economically weaker sections among upper castes will take care of all issues now, say political observers.

“Brahmins would have preferred to vote for the BJP had the Congress tied up with the SP. The grand old party would make a better partner by staying out rather than being a part,” says expert. 

Though there is another angle to this: that of the crucial minority vote bank.

A section believes that by remaining out, the Congress will split the Muslim votes of the BSP/SP. Besides, for the BJP it will be easier to “manage” the BSP-SP combine in case it falls short of numbers, which would not have been possible if the Congress was also a part.

For the BJP, holding on to minor regional allies in UP Apna Dal and SBSP is crucial. Om Prakash Rajbhar, who heads the SBSP and is also part of the Yogi Adityanath-led UP Government, has been openly challenging Modi, reminding him of his party’s demands regarding rights of backward people in the past 21 months. “But the Modi government has given reservations to the upper caste within two days,” Rajbhar was quoted as saying.

Senior BJP leaders, who claim no “anger or ill will” among NDA allies, say all issues will be resolved before the elections.