LUCKNOW, SRINAGAR, PATNA: On a day when BSP chief Mayawati showed how serious she was about her prime ministerial ambitions, alliance making gathered tempo in the opposition camp in J&K and Bihar, and the BJP sought to introduce new faces in its list.
Mayawati on Wednesday opted out of contesting the Lok Sabha polls, saying she would rather focus her energies on winning maximum seats for her party instead. For her to be a serious candidate to rule the country, the BSP has to get a big chunk of Lok Sabha seats. It is contesting in 38 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, with alliance partners SP and RLD taking 37 and 3, respectively.
For the alliance to do well, all three parties need to work harmoniously for vote transfer so as to maximise their chance of victory. That apparently is Mayawati’s aim instead of getting bogged down in one seat if she were to enter the poll fray.
In J&K, the National Conference and the Congress stitched up a surprise alliance agreeing to share three seats while entering into friendly contests in three other seats. While the Congress will contest from Jammu and Udhampur, the NC will fight from Srinagar. As for Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh, there will be friendly contests, NC chief Farooq Abdullah said.
The J&K gathbandhan was clearly aimed at defeating the BJP outside the Valley, where it has sizeable presence. Gathbandhan making was the toughest in Bihar, but it is almost done and will be unveiled after Holi, the RJD said. The formula, according to sources is: RJD 20; Congress 9; Kushwaha’s RLSP 4; HAM 2, Sharad Yadav’s LJD 2; CPI-ML (L) 2; and Vikasheel Insaan Party 1.
The biggest spring cleaning happened in the BJP’s Chhattisgarh unit with the party dropping all 10 sitting MPs, apparently because of the landslide defeat its suffered in the Assembly elections in December last.