'Mahagathbandhan effect'? BJP stitching alliances in UP

Nishad Party president Sanjay Nishad had a meeting with Adityanath on Friday after which the former announced that he had severed ties with the SP. (Photo via ANI)

Faced with the daunting task of overcoming the combined electoral challenge from the SP-BSP-RLD in Uttar Pradesh, BJP has been forced to stitch alliances with smaller, caste-based outfits.

BJP, according to the sources, has decided to stitch an alliance with the Nishad Party, an outfit, that represented the fishermen and boatmen community, and was likely to offer it two Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The Nishad Party had allied with the Samajwadi Party (SP) last year and its nominee Praveen Nishad, who had contested on the SP symbol, had defeated BJP in the by-poll at Gorakhpur, the home town of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Praveen was certain to be renominated from the seat by SP. The Nishad Party had, barely three days back, announced its alliance with the SP again and was offered one LS seat.

The shocking defeat in Gorakhpur, however, forced the BJP to woo the Nishad Party and its president Sanjay Nishad had a meeting with Adityanath on Friday after which the former announced that he had severed ties with the SP.

According to the sources, the BJP has agreed to give two LS seats to the Nishad Party in exchange for its support for the saffron party in Gorakhpur and adjoining areas. The Nishad community numbered around four lakh in Gorakhpur LS constituency.

Interestingly barely a few days back, BJP had made it clear that it would not have alliance with any party other than the one, which was its ally in 2014 LS polls.

A senior BJP leader here said that the party needed to take along smaller, caste-based outfits to counter the challenge from the SP-BSP and RLD.

Sensing the opportunity, the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), another alliance partner in the BJP government in the state, has also demanded four LS seats to continue to support the BJP.

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'Mahagathbandhan effect'? BJP stitching alliances in UP

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