oppn parties Can The BSP-SP Arrangement Be A Trailblazer?

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  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
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  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
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  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
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oppn parties
Can The BSP-SP Arrangement Be A Trailblazer?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-03-05 11:54:14

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
BSP to support SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur
In a surprising move that can have long term political implications, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has extended support to the Samajvadi Party (SP) by not fielding candidates in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-polls scheduled for March 11. BSP supremo Mayawati said that defeating BJP was “the demand of the times.” She has said that such support would continue in the legislative council elections in the state. Obviously, there is a quid pro quo involved. Mayawati wants the SP to transfer its 9 votes to the BSP candidate so that the party can secure a Rajya Sabha seat.

Coming toegether of sworn enemies
Mayawati was also quick to add that this arrangement (since quid pro quo is involved, one cannot call it an alliance) is not an indicator of the stand the party will take in 2019. The BSP had earlier said that it was not interested in wasting its energy and resources on one or two seats and would prefer to preserve them for the general elections, which it called “the master-key of power.” If this arrangement goes off smoothly and if the goodwill generated is carried forward, it could create a new dimension in opposition politics. The coming together of sworn enemies running after the same vote bank will change poll arithmetic to the advantage of both.

BJP must take this seriously
But not everyone is impressed. UP CM Yogi Adityanath was quick to recite a Rahim couplet to say that ker and ber cannot survive together, whatever be the compulsions. While this might be true given the way these regional satraps religiously guard their vote banks, sometimes the fear of getting permanently marginalized makes one sleep with the enemy, especially if that enemy is smaller compared to the larger enemy looming large in the foreground. The BJP might scoff at their arrangement but it should keep in mind that stranger things have been known to happen when one is faced with an existential crisis. Already, Telegana CM KCR has called for an alliance of regional parties to take on the BJP. The BSP-SP arrangement can be a trailblazer in this respect.