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The Rediff Interview/BSP MP Rashid Alvi
September 08, 2003
The current political upheaval in Uttar Pradesh has led to the break-up of the Bahujan Samaj Party Legislature Party. The BSP will clearly now be wooed by the Congress to gain an edge in the assembly election in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan due this winter. The Bharatiya Janata Party, contemplating a general election in February, will be nervous by the prospects of a BSP-Congress alliance. The BSP's internal assessment is that Mulayam Singh Yadav's 160-legislator Samajwadi Party will soon acquire independent strength in Uttar Pradesh by breaking Ajit Singh's 14-MLA Rashtriya Lok Dal, the 16-MLA Congress and winning over Independent MLAs.
Rashid Alvi, the BSP's vocal Rajya Sabha member, told rediff.com Senior Editor Sheela Bhatt that the BSP has decided not to have any alliance with the BJP in the assembly or general election.
Who engineered the defection in your party?
The BJP want to supports Mulayam Singh because he is ready to facilitate the BJP on the Ayodhya issue. These two parties have closed a deal under which the BJP will be allowed to pursue pro-Hindu politics and Mulayam will
Else, why did Mulayam not break the BJP?
This government is the result of the BJP and Mulayam's mili-bhagat (alliance)! The BJP and Mulayam Singh have had a dubious understanding for long. Mulayam didn't support Sonia Gandhi's leadership, otherwise she would have been prime minister of India today. Governor (Vishnu Kant) Shastri gave the Samajwadi Party 14 days to prove its majority. That itself shows the BJP is the architect of the Lucknow show.
How was one-third defection from the BSP made possible?
Everybody contributed. Collectors' power in the districts, money power and police power was used to engineer the spilt. Money was never a problem.
Is Mayawati in despair?
She is unchallenged. Her leadership is not affected. She is getting more sympathy from her loyal voters. Even her enemies will agree to this fact. Only 37 MLAs have gone. Let 50 go -- it will not have any impact on Mayawati's position.
Breaking up a party can never be a desirable event in politics.
I agree. Our cadres are certainly demoralized. But our vote bank is intact.
How come the BSP was caught unawares?
No, we were not. We knew Mulayam Singh was secretly meeting George Fernandes.
How do you read the situation now?
It is very clear. The BJP has given Mulayam a chance on one condition -- allow us to make noises about the Ram temple. Mulayam will be allowed to make counter-noises by the Centre. This is dirty politics where people will be killed. This is called communal politics where you trade human beings. This politics doesn't care for the prosperity of people. It evokes communal feelings, and in the end some get killed.
Mayawati toned down her attack on the BJP at her last press conference. Why?
This is a wrong reading. How can we now think of going along with the BJP? Our party has taken a decision not to go with the BJP in the assembly or general election. We will not ally with the BJP in any coming elections.
Will Mulayam Singh's government survive?
Mulayam will now concentrate on breaking the Congress and Ajit Singh's RLD, acquire a majority of its own. He will try to do it sooner than later. He knows the BJP, if displeased, can do anything to dislodge him. He will desperately try to be independent. In this dirty game the BJP is going to be taught a lesson or two by Mulayam. Just wait and watch.
The BJP has already lost its loyal base in UP. Mulayam will take his sweet revenge on the BJP by increasing his
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