Blaming the split within the Chautala family for “weakening” the alliance, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Saturday snapped its nearly nine-month-old association with Haryana’s main opposition the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and forged ties with the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP), an outfit floated by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini.
“On the directions of BSP national president Mayawati, the party ends ties with the INLD as the alliance is getting weakened because of the Chautala family split. The BSP has forged a new and strong alliance with the LSP,” said Meghraj, the BSP’s Haryana in-charge.
Meghraj said the decision to snap ties with the INLD was taken by Mayawati after considering the demand of the people of Haryana.
The development came three days after INLD leader Abhay Chautala claimed that the alliance was intact. The INLD had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Jind Assembly bypoll, where it was reduced to the fifth position with its candidate Umed Singh Redhu forfeiting his security deposit. On the other hand, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), which came into existence following INLD split, put up a spirited fight and its candidate Digvijay Singh Chautala secured second position as the BJP won the seat.
Abhay refused to make a direct comment on the BSP’s move. “We gave more respect to the BSP leaders and workers than ours. Answers to why they broke the alliance and why they separated can only be given by the BSP leaders,” he said.
JJP convener and Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala, in Ambala, said, “To those who raised question about our existence and said that this organisation cannot work, the people of Jind have shown that if any alternative exists in the state, it is the JJP.”
Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala too, lashed out at both the BSP and LSP, saying any alliance which is based on “opportunism and for gaining power” can never be successful.
The BSP and LSP, under the new alliance, will jointly contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and the Haryana Assembly elections, due later this year.
As per the arrangement finalised by the two parties, the BSP will field candidates in eight Lok Sabha seats in Haryana while the LSP will contest the remaining two, Meghraj said addressing the media with Saini.
For the Haryana Assembly polls, the LSP has been given 55 seats while the BSP will field its candidates in 35 constituencies in the in 90-member Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
Replying to questions from the media, Meghraj said, “Our leader Mayawati gave them (Chautalas) a chance to stay united. When we entered into an alliance, the INLD was one party. But after the Chautala family split, we got a chance to judge them in Jind bypoll and found that if the family fights polls separately, then anti-people forces will again come to the fore.”
“Out of around 3,400 votes that he INLD’s Umed Singh Redhu secured in the Jind bypoll, only 1,000 belonged to that party. Rest were the BSP votes. Thereafter, we decided to rethink on the alliance. Our votebank was disturbed,” he claimed.
In the same breath, the BSP leader, however, said the alliance with the INLD was good and there was no complaint against it. “But the objective of removing the BJP from the power was not going to be achieved with this alliance.”
Asked about the chief ministerial candidate of the new alliance, Meghraj said it will be announced after the Assembly polls. Both parties have decided to hold workers’ rally in Panipat on February 17.
Saini said the result of the alliance “will be great”. “Not only in Haryana, the BSP-LSP will be successful in the entire country,” he said.
Haryana BSP president Prakash Bharti meanwhile, said, “People of the state will take a call on the fate of our alliance. We will form government of the alliance by uniting dalits, backward classes, labourers, farmers and poor. Political parties do try to indulge in caste-politics, but we believe in the principle of welfare of all. We do not believe in the politics of Jats and non-Jats. Condition of Dalits is miserable across the country. They face atrocities. We have entered into an alliance to ensure justice to downtrodden from all caste and communities”.
Following a family feud within the Chautala clan, Ajay Chautala and his two sons, Dushyant and Digvijay, had floated the JJP last year.
Saini, a rebel BJP MP from Kurukshetra, had last year floated the LSP. The candidate fielded by him in the Jind bypolls had put up a better performance than INLD’s Redhu.
INLD and the BSP had entered into an alliance in April last year, which both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress had described a “marriage of convenience” which they entered into just to “grab power” in the state.