As the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party on Thursday identified the Lok Sabha seats each party would contest in Uttar Pradesh, a look at the arithmetic of the distribution suggests that the alliance could be up against the chemistry of the local claimants of both parties in several of these seats
In as many as 26 Lok Sabha constituencies across the state, the seat has not been allotted to the party that polled more votes than the other in 2014, reveals an analysis of the votes polled by the candidates of both these parties in each of the 80 constituencies of UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
For instance, in Hardoi Lok Sabha seat, the BSP candidate had polled more votes (2.79 lakh) than the SP (2.76 lakh votes) in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, according to the distribution of seats announced on Thursday, the seat has been allotted to the SP for the upcoming elections. Likewise, in Amroha Lok Sabha seat, the SP candidate polled more votes (3.70 lakh votes) than the BSP’s (1.62 lakh votes) in the 2014 election, but the seat has been allotted to the BSP candidate.
The BSP will get to field candidates in 12 seats where the SP candidate had polled more votes than its candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, the SP will field its candidates on 14 seats such seats where the BSP candidate polled more than the SP’s in the 2014 elections.
Early last month, the SP and BSP had announced their pre-poll alliance, deciding to contest on 38 seats each, leaving two seats to the Congress and two to a possible ally. The statement on seat-distribution on Thursday, issued under the joint signatures of BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, shows the BSP is contesting on 38 seats and the SP on 37.
Of the five seats the alliance set aside, two are for the Congress (Rae Bareli, Amethi) and three for the RLD (Mathura, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar).
During the initial rounds of meetings between leaders of the two parties, sources had indicated that the party which was runner-up in the 2014 election on a particular seat would be given priority while allotting seats. Thursday’s seat-distribution announcement has put an end to the hopes of the local candidates who were hoping to contest as the alliance candidate on the basis of their party’s performance in the 2014 election. Sources say this disgruntlement could be exploited by rival parties and might work against the SP-BSP alliance.
They said that former SP leader Shivpal Yadav, who has floated his own party and is planning to contest elections across the state, may try to rope in some of the aggrieved candidates from either side.
SP leader Udaiveer Singh dismissed the possibility of disgruntled ticket hopefuls working against the alliance. “Both the SP and BSP are parties with dedicated workers. They will accept the decision of the respective party leadership and there will be no differences on the ground.”
SP will field its candidates on five seats where the party won in the 2014 elections – Firozabad, Mainpuri, Badaun, Kannauj and Azamgarh. Akhilesh is likely to contest from Kannauj while party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav has expressed his wish to contest from Mainpuri. The SP will also field its candidate from Kairana, where Tabassum Begum was elected on an RLD symbol in a by-election last year. The BSP did not win any seat in the 2014 elections.
Among the seats where SP was runner-up in 2014 but which has been allotted to the BSP in 2019 include Gautam Buddha Nagar, Farrukhabad, Ghazipur and Lalganj. Among the seats where BSP was runner-up but where SP will contest are Ghaziabad, Kheri, Hardoi, Mirzapur, Chandauli and Banda.
Among the six seats where Congress was runner-up in the 2014 elections, BSP has been allotted only Saharanpur while SP will face a three-way contest in the remaining five seats — Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Barabanki and Kushinagar — since the Congress has announced that it would contest all seats.
In Gorakhpur and Phulpur, where the SP had defeated the ruling BJP with support from the BSP in the by-elections last year, SP will field its candidate.
Among the constituencies reserved for Scheduled Castes , BSP has got 10 seats while SP will field its candidates in seven, including in the SP family stronghold of Etawah.