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DAYS AFTER indicating that she is open to joining hands with the likes of arch-rivals Samajwadi Party and the Congress to take on BJP in 2019 General Election, BSP chief Mayawati on Wednesday said any such decision on any pan-India tie-up against the ruling party will be taken just before the Lok Sabha elections. The decision will be taken after considering the number of seats BSP gets to contest, and the SP and Congress’s public support at the time, she is learnt to have told party functionaries.
Mayawati made the remarks during a meeting at BSP headquarters in Lucknow to discuss prospects of an alliance with SP and Congress. “We don’t have to enter the alliance foolishly and end up benefiting the SP and Congress, which may have no support base of their own,” a party leader quoted Mayawati as saying.
According to leaders present in the meeting, Mayawati said she had earlier decided not to get into electoral alliances with any party after the BSP “failed to benefit” from tie-ups with the SP in 1993 and the Congress in 1996 UP Assembly elections. She is learnt to have said the SP got more seats in 1993 because its candidates got votes of BSP’s Dalit supporters, but SP’s Muslim supporters voted for the Congress on seats allotted to the BSP.
Similarly, she claimed, the BSP’s votes were transferred to Congress in 1996, but its Muslim votes went to the SP and upper caste supporters of Congress voted for BJP instead. Mayawati warned BSP leaders that a similar trend can emerge in 2019 if the BSP allied with either of the two parties. And if the BSP allied with both parties, Muslims could vote for Independent or smaller party candidates and upper caste votes could go to BJP in seats allotted to BSP, she reportedly said.
She also asked party leaders to start working on mobilisation, keeping in mind they may have to contest elections on their own.
Mayawati also announced that she has dissolved all BSP committees at the levels of zone, division and assembly segment and assigned new responsibilities. Sources said BSP general secretary Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who was in charge of western UP, has now been made the Madhya Pradesh in-charge.
In the meeting, Mayawati reportedly showed her frustration at BSP leaders’ failure in reaching out to Dalits, minorities and OBCs.