Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Wednesday met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar in New Delhi, a day after the former Utter Pradesh chief minister told the Congress that her party will enter into an alliance in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, only if it is offered a “respectable share in alliance”.
While the BSP has maintained a stoic silence about the meeting, photographs tweeted by Pawar show the two leaders along with Rajya Sabha member and BSP national general Satish Chandra Mishra.
The meeting has come as a surprise for the Congress, which is working towards leading a grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
On Tuesday, Mayawati had clearly indicated that in absence of a “respectable” seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress, the BSP would contest on all the Assembly seats in the three BJP-ruled states independently.
Three days ago, Mayawati had underlined that her party was following the policy of forging alliances with different parties in different states only to remove the BJP from power. Mayawati earlier had also called for an “alliance government” at the Centre.
Mayawati’s meeting with the NCP chief comes days after her party contested the Karnataka elections in alliance with the JD(S). The BSP had won one seat in the election and agreed to continue its alliance with the JD(S) till 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress, which had backed the JD(S) after the results of Karnataka elections were declared, is part of the ruling coalition in the state.
Recently, Mayawati had backed Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh in by-elections of Gorakhpur and Phulpur and the alliance had defeated BJP on both the seats. The BSP has also forged an alliance with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana.
Sources said the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is also exploring possibilities of an alliance with the BSP in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections. According to political analysts, Mayawati’s identity as a mass Dalits leader on the national stage is what has attracted other parties to tie up with the BSP in upcoming elections. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BSP had contested on 503 seats across the country. Though it could not win a single seat, but got 4.19 per cent votes.