The Congress will try its very best through an alliance with the BSP to stop the Victory Chariot – ‘Vijay Rath’ of Narendra Modi in UP and by doing so, also shatter Modi’s dream of ruling in Delhi. It seems to the Congress that by allying with the BSP, it will be able to get the votes of the Dalits in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan. The possibility of adjustment over several seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections is also emerging.
From the viewpoint of political happenings in the country, extremely interesting pictures are emerging. Old allies are being left behind and a search is being made for new allies. The aim is not just to win in the Lok Sabha elections, but also to emerge victorious in the five upcoming State Legislative Assembly elections. Keeping this in view, a special relationship seems to be developing between the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party. According to the news available, a pact has been formed between the ‘Hand’ and the ‘Elephant’. It has been tentatively agreed that Rahul and Mayawati will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and Legislative Assembly elections to the five States in alliance. If this happens then the results of these elections can definitely turn out to be startling.
Several decisive meetings have already been held very, very quietly in this regard between the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo, Mayawati and the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, and an alliance is about to be formalised. A general understanding has been formed between the BSP and the Congress. The deal has got stuck at just one issue, and that is the distribution of seats in the Lok Sabha and Uttar Pradesh elections. Sonia Gandhi has clearly told Mayawati that this political alliance will be finalised between them only if out of 80 parliamentary seats in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati agrees to let them fight from 35, otherwise this new developing friendship might get shattered. This way, Mayawati can field her candidates from 45 seats. But Mayawati wants that her party should field candidates from 60 seats. At present Mayawati has not given any assurance about this condition but the news is that she will be ready for a ratio of 35:45, and if this friendship between the Congress and BSP takes on colour, then this friendship might become a cause of worry for the Samajwadi Party and the BJP, because an alliance between the Congress and the BSP can get Dalit, Muslim
and Brahmin voter to stand together in their favour.
So that the alliance between Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi can blossom politically in new ways, the Congress party may as a precautionary measure soon take some hard headed steps. According to the news that is coming from the secret confabulations being held by the Congress party’s strategists, if the Samajwadi Party becomes befuddled by the friendship between the Congress Party and the BSP or growls at it, then in such a situation the Congress can, even before the results of the five State Legislative Assembly elections are declared, recommend dissolution of Parliament. That is why the Congress has also made plans to call for the winter session of Parliament before its scheduled time. During this winter session, the Government wants to get passed all those remaining Bills which it can tie as a festooned headdress and go amongst the people to make proclamations about the work it has done. This means that despite all the allegations of corruption and adverse opinion polls, the Congress does not want to leave any stone unturned to gain victory. Embracing Mayawati is also an important link in fulfilling this aspiration.
The attempt to forge an alliance between the Congress and the BSP did not happen ‘just like that’. What happened was that when Rahul Gandhi took back charge of the Uttar Pradesh Congress from Digvijay Singh and handed the responsibility to Madhusudan Mistry, then Madhusudan Mistry got an intensive survey done in Uttar Pradesh. The report of this survey was very disappointing for the Congress. The results which had came showed that in the next Lok Sabha elections the Congress on its own would be able to win only 4 to 6 seats, whereas at present the Congress has 22 seats Lok Sabha seats in UP. This report was presented by Madhusudan Mistry to Rahul Gandhi about 2 months ago and he simultaneously gave him the advice that if the Congress were to fight
the elections allied with the BSP, it would benefit.
So Mayawati was sent this message. Mayawati too was in need of such a tie-up, so she arrived to meet Sonia Gandhi in this connection. Deliberations on this matter took place between Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and Mayawati and it was decided that the two parties should come together. The hitch is only over distribution of seats. It is being hoped that now that elections to the five State Legislative Assemblies have been announced, the Congress and BSP will too soon make an announcement about their alliance. The Congress will try its very best through this alliance to stop the Victory Chariot – ‘Vijay Rath’ of Narendra Modi in UP and by doing so, also shatter Modi’s dream of ruling in Delhi.
It seems to the Congress that with the BSP as an ally, it will be able to get the votes of the Dalits in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan. The possibility of adjustment over several seats in the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections is also emerging. During the time of the last Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh too, adjustments could not be made between the Congress and the BSP even though they were almost made. It was due to the distribution of seats and the exercise of getting the credit for the Dalit Muslim vote bank into their own accounts that an alliance could not be forged, but the current political conditions have made it clear to Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati that if they do not join hands even now, then they might be marginalised in the Indian political field– the direct benefit of which will go only to the Bharatiya Janta Party and Narendra Modi, and if they (the Congress and the BSP) come together, then they will make the path to Delhi difficult for the political parties opposing them, because a situation where they are together will polarise the Dalit-Muslim and Brahmin votes in their favour. The result of this will also be that the path will become a little more difficult for those regional parties which are trying their best to give shape to a Third Front in the country. Because of this not only could there be a very close fight in the five State Legislative Assembly elections, but also in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
After the Muzaffarnagar riots, it has started to seem to Congress leaders that the votes of Muslim voters angry with the riots would come to them, but Rahul and Sonia are very well familiar with the fact that these angry Muslims will vote for only that party in the State which has the will and strength to defeat the BJP and here, in this matter, the BSP seems to be moving ahead of the Congress. Now even Muslim organisations have started proclaiming that the minorities were safe and protected in Mayawati’s rule. This situation is strengthening the BSP. At the same time it is Mayawati’s compulsion that she wants to be a part of the Government at the Centre from within, otherwise later on she will have to face a lot of problems in her own State.
On the other side, the BSP also has the challenge of stopping the SP. That is why it is also a compulsion for the BSP and Congress to walk together, although both parties also have some fear within them about this alliance. The Congress fear is that if it forms an alliance with the BSP for the Lok Sabha elections all over the country, then the Dalit votes will go away from it towards Mayawati and not return, as has happened before too in Uttar Pradesh. There too, on the other side, the BSP’s vote bank will also come towards the Congress, but whether the traditional vote bank of the Congress will tilt towards the BSP or not is difficult to say. Despite all this, the Congress and BSP, both are seeing more benefit from this alliance.
This is the reason why Madhusudan Mistry, who is in charge of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit, has suddenly started speaking of the SP in a bitter tone. The Congress workers in Uttar Pradesh have been told to go to any lengths to oppose the anti people policies of the SP. This is also why Central Minister Beni Prasad Verma is also continuously saying bitter things against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, even though Mulayam Singh, assessing the situation, is maintaining a silence over all the allegations. From his side he has not yet given any indication of leaving the Congress. Mulayam Singh knows that at the moment the Muslims of the State are angry with him. If he makes an announcement at such a stage of leaving the Congress, then he will be the one who will suffer.
Although Uttar Pradesh is such a State where a Muslim cannot ensure a definite win in any seat, but certainly, because of the number of Muslims in the State, leaving aside a couple of seats, he influences the electoral results in each of the other seats. According to the population of Muslims, there are about nineteen districts in the State where Muslims reside in large numbers. For example in Rampur, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Balrampur, Bareilly, Bharaich, Amroha, Meerut etc., districts, the Muslim population is very dense. Besides this, Pilibhit, Khalilabad, Badaun, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Bulandshahar are such districts where one fourth of the voters are Muslims and Muslims in all these places have already tilted strongly towards the BSP. It is clear that if there is an alliance between the Congress and the BSP, then the Congress will get more votes than its status and standing in Uttar Pradesh.
In the same manner if we pay attention to the current conditions in Madhya Pradesh, we will find that the situations here are much like what they were in 2008. If you recall the statistics of 2008, their analysis shows that the BSP had registered its strong presence in Madhya Pradesh in the form of a third force and had the Congress and the BSP fought elections there together, then the BJP would not have been able to form a Government in Madhya Pradesh for the second time. There too, if the BSP had formed an alliance with the BJP, then perhaps the Congress would been out of the State. Even though out of the 230 Legislative Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, the BSP had got only 7 seats, there were 19 seats where the BSP had left behind the Congress at some places, the BJP at others and registered its presence at the second position.
In 14 Legislative Assembly constituencies the BSP had polled 25-30 thousand votes and in about 70 Legislative Assembly constituencies BSP candidates had polled 10-20 thousand votes. If at that time the self-styled leaders of the Congress had analysed and interpreted the ground realities and joined hands with Mayawati, then perhaps it would have been their Government in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP had formed its Government in Madhya Pradesh by getting 143 of the 230 Legislative Assembly seats. The Congress had got 71 seats and the BSP which won 7 seats had shown its strong presence in 57 other seats. It is obvious that if the BSP and Congress had been together, these 57 seats would have slipped from the BJP’s hands and it would not have been in a position to form the Government, but if the same BSP had been with the BJP, then the Congress would have shrunk from 71 seats to 37-38 seats. Even now conditions are almost the same in Madhya Pradesh and this time the Congress does not want to repeat the mistake of not keeping the BSP with itself.
In exactly the same way, conditions were the same during the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections in 2008. In this election the Congress had got just 39.88 per cent of the votes. The BJP had got 36.43 per cent, whereas the BSP had got 14.5 per cent of the votes, though only 2 seats had come into the BSP account in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. If we calculate on the basis of the 2011 census, then the picture will be different this time. The percentage of Dalit and Muslim voters in Delhi is more than 30 per cent. If we add the voters from the Eastern parts (Purvanchalis) then this percentage exceeds 45 per cent. In 70 seats in Delhi city, 38 seats have such a caste calculation that the total voter share there is between 20 and 60 per cent. Here the BJP has 10 seats, other parties have 4 seats and the Congress has 34 seats. The seats of Gokulpuri and Badarpur are with the BSP. The seats in areas with a Muslim influence, like Okhla, Matia Mahal etc, are with other parties. The Sultanpuri seat, where the most Dalits live and whose percentage is 44, is with the Congress. Out of the one dozen ‘safe’ seats in Delhi, 9 are with the Congress and a mere 2 with the BJP, the BSP has captured one seat. Between these caste equations and percentages, an alliance between the Congress and the BSP can very certainly show very strong colours.
More or less the same situation is there in Punjab. There is more than 35 per cent Dalit population in Punjab, but the BSP has yet not managed to establish itself amongst the Dalits here. So far, the role of the BSP is limited to ‘cutting’ the votes of other parties. The 37 Dalit castes of Punjab, have according to their own calculations, supported different parties and getting the Government here, but if the BSP forms an alliance here with the Congress, then the splintered Dalit votes could tilt in their favour.
Chattisgarh has 11.61 per cent Dalit votes, whereas in Rajasthan the Dalit voters have a share of 17.09 per cent. In all these States the Dalit vote bank is splintered due to the BSP, the consequences of which the Congress has to bear, even though the Congress no longer has a traditional vote bank in any of these four States. That is why, on the pretext of being with Mayawati, the Congress will try and gather these splintered votes. By being with the Congress, the BSP’s social engineering formula might also affect the traditional BJP vote, the direct benefit of which will go to the Congress itself. With the support of Muslim and Brahmin voters, the Congress has been wielding power not only in Uttar Pradesh but also at the Centre. In this situation if through the BSP, Dalit voters too join them, then it can become a cause of wiping away the BJP leaders’ aspirations. Even otherwise, news of an alliance between the Congress and the BSP has brought lines of worry to the foreheads of BJP leaders.
For the moment, the understanding that can be seen to be developing between the Congress and the BSP High Commands it seems from that this deal will be made, but it will be interesting to see on what conditions BSP supremo Mayawati will stand together with the Congress.