SP-Cong tie drives rivals to realign strategy

SP-Cong tie drives rivals to realign strategy

The alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress in Uttar Pradesh may force the BJP and the BSP to revisit their electoral strategy.

According to sources the BJP and BSP, who were keenly watching the developments in the SP and the Congress, have  started reworking their strategy to face this sudden challenge.

BSP supremo Mayawati, who is banking on the Muslim-Dalit combination to catapult her party to power, has fielded 97 Muslim candidates, apparently hoping that the community, whose support is crucial on around 125 Assembly seats in the state, would not vote for the SP in view of the feud within the Yadav family.

“Muslims will not waste their votes by supporting the SP, which is a divided house”, Mayawati had said. The alliance, however, may change all that. “We will now be able to send across the message to the Muslims that we are in a position to challenge the BJP...the alliance will certainly prevent division in Muslim votes”, said SP youth wing leader Mohammed Ebaad.

A source in the BSP said that the party had now directed its leaders and cadres to reach out to the Muslim community and also sections of the upper caste hoping to offset the loss.

The alliance has posed problems for the BJP as well. The saffron party, which was nurturing hopes to capture the state riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was also banking on three way division of the Muslim votes among the Congress, SP and the BSP on seats where the community was in sizeable numbers.

Yadav vote bank
The saffron party had also hoped that the Yadav vote bank of the SP would also get divided owing to the family feud.

The Congress has also indicated that it will give tickets to a good number of upper caste candidates to make a dent into the BJP vote bank.

“The BJP has ignored upper caste candidates in its list for the seats going to the polls in the western region in the first phase of polling”, said a senior UP Congress leader here.

The Congress won 28 seats in the 2012 Assembly polls and   secured 11.63% of the votes. The SP won 224 seats and secured 29.15 % of the votes.
DH News Service

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