By Amita Verma
Lucknow, Oct 30 (IANS) The spat between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) over the Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh may have reopened the chapter of acrimony between the two parties but the situation now seems to be working to the advantage of SP.
The SP is now emerging as the main challenger to the ruling BJP in the state. Even the staunchest critics of SP president Akhilesh Yadav within the party confess that his ‘masterstroke’ has given a push to the party ahead of Assembly elections.
“Akhilesh’s mistake of an alliance with BSP had led to losses in last year’s Lok Sabha elections but he has more than made up for it now,” said a senior SP leader, known for his proximity to party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
BSP president Mayawati unwittingly walked into the SP trap on Thursday when she announced — apparently in a fit of rage-that she would not hesitate to support the BJP to defeat SP in the next legislative council elections.
“She has finally revealed to the world that she is hand-in-glove with the BJP. All these years, she had misled the minorities in particular but now she stands completely exposed,” said a senior party functionary.
He further said, “Our independent candidate’s nomination may have been cancelled without a valid reason but we have gained politically. Leaders in the BSP who are against the BJP, are now sending us feelers.”
The Samajwadi Party is also elated over the fact that it is now the main challenger to the ruling BJP in UP and the division of anti-BJP votes in the 2022 Assembly elections will be ‘minimal’.
The Congress, which had initially claimed to emerge as a major force in the opposition in UP, meanwhile, has started imploding and infighting within the ranks is at an all-time high.
In her resignation, former Congress MP Annu Tandon, on Thursday, finally belled the proverbial cat when she blamed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the state of affairs in UP, albeit indirectly.
Priyanka, who is in charge of UP affairs, is being blamed for propping up ‘ineffective and non-Congress leaders’ at the cost of committed party cadres, which is leading to an exodus from the party.
“The Congress state leaders are expelling party workers while senior leaders have either withdrawn completely from party activities or are leaving. The Congress graph is slipping down and we now have no hope left for 2022,” said a former party MLA.
He admitted that most of the party leaders who were upset with the prevailing state of affairs, were inching closer to SP because that is emerging as the only alternative to the BJP-more so, after the BSP revealed its intentions to support BJP.