Can The BSP-SP Arrangement Be A Trailblazer?BSP to support SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur
By Sunil Garodia
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.