MAYAWATI ON Thursday said that no one from her party will attend RJD’s ‘BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao rally’ in Patna on August 27, arguing that BSP will not share stage with any Opposition party until the contours of an alliance among non-BJP parties and seat-sharing formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are finalised.
Speaking to mediapersons at her residence in Lucknow, Mayawati said there have been “several rumours” about BSP’s participation in the rally of non-BJP “secular front” organised by Lalu Prasad’s RJD in Patna. On Wednesday, Lalu had said that BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Misra will participate in the rally.
“All secular parties have been invited for the rally on August 27. Special attempts are also being made to bring BSP to the rally. But we have told the RJD leadership that BSP is a strong secular party in policy and principle and it has also been a supporter of Opposition unity against BJP and RSS. As far as participation in the Patna rally is concerned, BSP apprehends that a fight will start over the distribution of seats (among Opposition parties) after the success of this rally,” she said.
“BSP supports a secular coalition and joint struggle. But the previous experience of coalition in Bihar polls has shown that a few parties had to leave because they were allotted less seats. The RJD leadership has been told that BSP will share stage with any national or state-level party only after it is decided which party will contest how many seats. Divisions of seats among parties and its policy should be decided first. Coalitions end because of discord over seat-sharing. All parties should get respectable number of seats,” she added.
Mayawati maintained BSP will “never compromise on the issue of getting respectable number seats to contest” and the party “cannot leave its supporters at the mercy of others”.
“BJP is in power at the Centre and in many states. It is using several tactics to malign the image of secular parties and weaken them… Even the Election Commission is worried at BJP’s anti-democracy tendency to win elections at any cost. In such a scenario, Opposition parties should work with a solid strategy so that they can regain the trust of people. In this regard, the matter of distribution of seats is of utmost importance and this often leads to break-up of alliances at the time of elections. This destroys people’s trust and sends a wrong message, which helps the BJP enjoy electoral benefit,” she said.
Meanwhile, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has announced that he will participate in the RJD rally.