Mayawati, HAM’s Manjhi to stay away from Oppn conclave
Janata Dal (United) lead KC Tyagi claimed that no invitation was sent to BSP chief Mayawati for the proposed congregation of the opposition leaders in Patna on June 23.
LUCKNOW/PATNA: Even as opposition parties’ efforts to stitch together a grand alliance to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are on, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has decided to chart its own course and project Mayawati as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
Recently, Janata Dal (United) lead KC Tyagi claimed that no invitation was sent to BSP chief Mayawati for the proposed congregation of the opposition leaders in Patna on June 23. Shortly after the JD-U leader’s statement, the BSP made it clear that it did not want to be a part of the strategy chalked out by other parties for the 2024 challenge and instead it would chart out its own course.
Commenting over the issue, a senior BSP leader seeking anonymity said that even after several rounds of meetings wherein Nitish Kumar had been roaming around to meet the heads of various opposition parties to prepare the ground against the BJP, it was not clear as to who would be projected as Opposition’s PM candidate. “The BSP, however, has decided to project Behan Mayawatiji as our PM candidate,” he said.
In neighbouring Bihar, former Bihar chief minister and patron of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) Jitan Ram Manjhi is unhappy that he has not been invited by grand alliance partners for the meeting of non-BJP parties in Patna on June 23.
At a meeting of the party’s core committee on Friday, he said: “Our party has not been invited to the Opposition parties meeting scheduled to be held on June 23.” Manjhi, however, said that he has vowed to continue with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is spearheading Opposition unity at the national level.
Earlier, he along with party MLAs had called on Nitish at the latter’s residence. At the meeting, HAM reiterated its demand for five Lok Sabha seats in the next year’s general election. He said that leaders of the grand alliance would consider the party’s demand and give seats under seat-sharing arrangements.
The HAM’s demand of five Lok Sabha seats is likely to trigger internal differences among seven constituents of the grand alliance in the state. HAM has four MLAs in the state assembly.
Mayawati’s case is different, especially after her party’s disastrous performance in UP Assembly polls and its general decline in states such as Punjab. It could be that she wants to put pressure on the opposition parties to give her more weightage as parties sit together to flesh out the final strategy for LS polls.