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Punjab: A day after alliance with SAD, BSP workers want some ‘weak seats’ exchanged

The BSP workers, while welcoming the alliance, stressed that the party is given a chance to contest from certain constituencies where their voter base was strong in exchange for certain 'weak' seats.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
June 14, 2021 12:04:47 am
Akali Dal stitches alliance with Mayawati’s BSP ahead of Punjab polls, announces 97-20 seat-sharing plan during a function at SAD office in Sector 28 Chandigarh. (Express)

A day after the formation of SAD-BSP alliance in Punjab, nearly 450 BSP workers gathered at Phillaur Vidhan Sabha constituency in Jalandhar and demanded that some of the seats given to the party under the seat-sharing formula for 2022 Punjab elections be exchanged.

The BSP workers, while welcoming the alliance, stressed that the party is given a chance to contest from certain constituencies where their voter base was strong in exchange for certain ‘weak’ seats.

The BSP workers said that they had gained a lot in Doaba in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. They also demanded that the Adampur, and Phillaur (both in Jalandhar), along with Balachaur, and Banga (both in Nawanshahr) seats be given to them as the party’s position was quite strong here in the 2017 Assembly elections. They also claimed that the party has a good base in Sham Chaurasi and Chabbewal in Hoshiarpur district.
In exchange, the BSP workers said, the party was ready to give up some of its not-so-strong seats so that the overall number of seats stayed the same.

Talking to The Indian Express, one of the senior party workers said, “We welcome the alliance and are also happy with getting 20 seats. But the BSP is weak on some of these seats, while the seats, where we are strong, were not given to us.”

He further said that the high command should have looked at the party’s position in all constituencies before deciding on seat-sharing.

He said that a team has been formed which will take up the matter with party high command and request a swap of seats in order for the alliance to get maximum benefits.

The BSP has been given 20 out of 117 seats for the upcoming Assembly elections, out of which eight seats are in Doaba, which is the traditional stronghold of the party because of its 38% Dalit population — the highest in the country.

The BSP workers said that out of 20 seats given to them, 11 seats were those where from where the SAD had not contested during the last Assembly polls, leaving it for its partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with whom it had an alliance in 2017. The party fears that they might not do well in these 11 seats, as none of the BJP voters will vote for the alliance there and hence wants them exchanged.

They are, however, happy with having bagged the Nawashahwr, Phagwara and Kartarpur seats, where the party has a good base and had done well in terms of garnering votes in the 2017 elections.

According to an analysis, the number of votes the BSP received on the 20 seats in the 2017 assembly elections are Kartarpur (5208), Jalandhar North (1506) Phagwara (6160), Hoshiarpur (4442), Tanda (1720), Dasuya (3180), Chamkaur Sahib (1610), Bassi Pathana (814), Mahilkalan (4922), Nawanshahr (19578), Anandpur Sahib (1442), Sujanpur (1083), Pathankot (470), Bhoa (695), Jalandhar West (1099), Mohali (1027), Amritsar Central (55), Amritsar North (603), Payal (618), and Ludhiana North (1507).

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