In a blow to the Opposition’s efforts to forge a Grand Alliance in Bihar ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the BSP has rejected the RJD’s offer to join the alliance.
Sources said the BSP has decided to contest all 40 seats in the state and party chief Mayawati communicated this decision to state party leaders on Tuesday at a meeting in Lucknow. The meeting was called to discuss the political scenario in the states and preparations for the polls.
The BSP’s decision came around two months after RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav met Mayawati at her residence in Lucknow, wished her on her birthday and sought her blessings. Sources in the RJD said Tejashwi had also invited the BSP to join the alliance.
“BSP has decided to contest on all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar with its complete strength,” a party leader told The Indian Express. He also said the party has identified 10 crucial seats on the basis of social equations and proximity to Uttar Pradesh and is paying special attention to these constituencies. Click here for more election news
Asked about the BSP’s decision, a senior RJD functionary said, told The Indian Express, “When Tejashwiji met Mayawati on January 13, he had also invited the BSP to join the alliance in Bihar. The BSP has not communicated any decision formally.”
The leader also said that the BSP joining the alliance would have helped the Opposition parties in more than half-a-dozen Lok Sabha constituencies along the UP-Bihar border.
The RJD leader also said that the presence of the Congress in the alliance could be a possible reason for the BSP staying away. During the party meeting on Tuesday, Mayawati had declared that her party would not have any electoral tie-up with the Congress in any state.
Around two years ago, Mayawati had rejected RJD president Lalu Prasad’s invitation to join the BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao rally in Patna, contending that her party would not share stage with any other until the contours of an alliance and seat-sharing formula for the 2019 elections are finalised.
When Tejashwi met her in January, Mayawati had said, “hum bhi inke saath hain”. On an alliance with the RJD in Bihar, she had said, “Everything will be revealed at the appropriate time.” Tejashwi had then said he met Mayawati to wish her for her birthday in advance and take blessings.
The BSP had received 7.65 lakh votes in Bihar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which increased slightly to 7.88 lakh in the 2015 Vidhan Sabha elections. The party did not win a single seat in both elections.
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