LUCKNOW: The two regional satraps of Uttar Pradesh—Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are likely to chart different strategies for Delhi assembly polls scheduled for February 8.
While Samajwadis are still in the confabulation stage for deciding the their Delhi course, the highly-placed sources claimed that the party may not try its luck. Instead, SP may extend support to Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP). The Samajwadi Party, which could win two seats in Maharashtra but drew a blank in Haryana and Jharkhand, does not want the division of votes among anti-BJP parties. “It is also a time to reciprocate as AAP had supported us during 2018 and 2019 UP bypolls. We think that AAP has a fair chance to get a second term. So we will try to consolidate its position,” said a senior SP leader seeking anonymity.
However, the party is yet to make a formal announcement over its Delhi strategy.
On the contrary, the BSP leadership has made it clear that the blue brigade will contest on all 70 Assembly seats of national capital and the party would go it alone. Despite a series of drubbings in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, the party is planning to go full throttle in Delhi. The party is pinning hopes on a huge chunk of Dalit voters and migrants of UP based in national capital. Delhi assembly has 12 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes.
On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party that won two seats in Maharashtra and none in Jharkhand assembly polls, is reluctant to test political waters in Delhi.
Delhi had been important for the BSP. Both the party founder Kanshi Ram as well as national president Mayawati had toiled hard in mid-eighties to establish the party base in the national capital.
On the other hand, the SP has seldom taken polls in Delhi seriously, getting active only when the polls drew close, much like what AAP did in Uttar Pradesh.
Now, the BSP has asked its west UP office-bearers to campaign in Delhi. A high-level meeting of BSP leaders was presided over by the BSP chief in Lucknow recently to review preparations for the Delhi polls. Mayawati appointed senior party leaders Veer Singh and Ashok Siddharth as in-charge of the Delhi assembly elections.
Laxman Singh is the president of Delhi state unit.
In the 2015 assembly elections also, the BSP had fielded candidates on all 70 seats but its candidates had lost deposit on 69 seats in the sweeping Aam Aadmi Party wave. BSP could bag 1.30% vote. SP had also contested on a couple of seats but failed to fetch even a single seat. However, the blue brigade will also be facing the challenge posed by Dalit outfit Bhim Army which has already revealed its plans to take a plunge in electoral politics from Delhi. Bhim Army has a considerable support base in western UP and the national capital.
As per the BSP sources, Mayawati has cautioned her party leaders and cadre over the challenge Bhim Army could pose by sharing the dalit vote bank.