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Mayawati's Push for 'Respectable Alliance' a Subtle Message to Congress Ahead of Assembly Polls

The understanding in BSP’s top quarters is that the party should deal with the Congress with caution. The BSP intends to get a respectable number of seats not just in the three assembly polls, but also looks forward to seat-sharing in these states in 2019.

Pranshu Mishra | CNN-News18

Updated:September 16, 2018, 7:28 PM IST
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Mayawati's Push for 'Respectable Alliance' a Subtle Message to Congress Ahead of Assembly Polls
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati addresses a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday. (PTI)
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Lucknow: As opposition parties strive to cobble together an alliance against the BJP for the upcoming assembly polls in key states as well as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP chief Mayawati has sent across a stern message to potential partners, especially the Congress.

Talking to the media on Sunday, Mayawati said, “My party is in favour of alliances, but only if they are respectable”. She added that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was preparing for the polls and would not hesitate from going it alone if the need arises.

Though the party chief did not clarify her remarks, highly placed sources in the BSP confirmed to News18 that she intended to warn the Congress in particular.

The BSP is said to be in talks with Congress for an alliance in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where it has pockets of influence that have fetched the party a few seats in the past two decades.

An alliance with the Congress could also lay the foundation for a larger understanding between the two parties and other non-BJP outfits in the Hindi heartland, including politically crucial Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The understanding in BSP’s top quarters is that the party should deal with the Congress with caution. The BSP intends to get a respectable number of seats not just in the three assembly polls, but also looks forward to seat-sharing in these states in 2019.

Party insiders say Mayawati is keen to accommodate the Congress in the state for the Lok sabha polls, only if the grand old party is willing to do so. Now, with the Congress warming up to the Bhim Army and its leader Chandrashekhar Azad ‘Ravan’, Mayawati is said to be further annoyed with the top leadership of the Congress.

When asked if the condition of “respectable alliance” would also be extended to the Samajwadi Party (SP), a senior party functionary said so far, they had not encountered any trouble with the SP. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has already made it clear that he has no issues playing a junior partner to the BSP in the Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, reacting to Mayawati’s statement, the BJP sought to know from whom the BSP chief was expecting ‘respect’.

“Is she expecting respect from those who had shattered her pride and dignity in the infamous 1995 Guest House case?” asked media coordinator of UP BJP, Rakesh Tripathi. Recalling the incident, Tripathi said it was BJP MLA Brahm Dutt Dwivedi who came to Mayawati's rescue.

“Today, Mayawati is expecting respect from those who had shown scant respect to her in the past. This shows how nervous she is and that her voter base has eroded," Tripathi said.

On the BSP chief's statement that BJP was not leaving any stone unturned to derive mileage from the demise of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP media co-ordinator said, "Mayawati has honoured so many great and eminent personalities by constructing their statues in Lucknow. I fail to understand why she has a problem if the BJP is holding various programmes in honour and memory of Atalji."

Tripathi said, "Mayawati has been treating Dalits as her vote bank. The BJP on the other hand has worked to increase the bank balance of the Dalits. She is visualising that her bank is being virtually robbed. Hence she is worried."
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