NEW DELHI: While keeping a close watch on developments within the Samajwadi Party, the BJP has noted attempts of the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh to forge a grand alliance for the upcoming Assembly polls with relief.
The BJP sees a silver lining in the efforts of the State unit chief of the SP, Shivpal Singh Yadav, for a Bihar-like “Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance)”.
Within the BJP, there has been an apparent discomfort following the family battle in the SP spilling over to the streets. “The BJP will be in a comfortable position if there is a four cornered-contest during the State polls next year, with both the SP and the BSP hitting the campaign trail on strong terms. However, the war within the Yadav clan makes the SP a weak rival. In such a situation, there emerges a possibility of an almost direct contest between the BJP and the BSP,” said a BJP spokesperson.
The BJP admits that the BSP has a head-start in the State, with its core constituency of almost 18 per cent Dalit vote base backing party supremo and former chief minister Mayawati. “The Muslims, who almost constitute 18 per cent of the vote base in UP, have never voted en masse. The polling percentage within the minority community, however, as a trend has always been much higher than any other social groups. With the family war in SP taking a toll on the party prospects, there appears a strong chance of Muslims shifting to the BSP,” said another BJP functionary.
However, Shivpal Singh Yadav’s apparent manoeuvre to outsmart the state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav by reaching out to the JD (U), the RLD, besides reaching out to the Congress has pleased the BJP leaders. “The final move in the battle for supremacy within the Yadav clan has not yet been made. However, there appear indications that the party will stay strong in the upcoming elections through alliances. This is good news for us, as we stay with the prospects of a multi-cornered contest,” added the BJP functionary.
While the BJP was routed in a direct electoral battle in Bihar after the JD (U) and the RJD came together, the saffron outfit emerged a winner during multi-cornered contests in Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. The BSP is estimating that a political party amassing about 27-28 per cent of the vote share in UP polls would get a majority in the Assembly. “The anti-BJP votes need to split strongly for us to reach the target of 28 per cent vote share,” added the BJP functionary.