The rapprochement could open the door to an anti-saffron alliance for the 2019 general elections, reports Archis Mohan.
With the budget session of Parliament resuming on Monday after a break of nearly a month, there are indications of opposition parties aligning in the key state of Uttar Pradesh for the next Lok Sabha poll.
This comes as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party savoured its victories in the northeastern states, especially its emphatic victory in Tripura.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said on Sunday her foremost objective in the 2019 general election would be to defeat the BJP.
Her party, she said, would not share stage with its arch-rival Samajwadi Party but would support the latter’s candidates for the Phulpur and Gorakhpur byelections to the Lok Sabha.
The polling is on the coming Sunday and BSP people have been told to campaign against the BJP.
Mayawati said her party would also support the SP candidates for the Uttar Pradesh legislative council election.
In turn, she expects that party to support the BSP candidates in the coming poll to the Rajya Sabha.
Also, that her party expected the Congress to support the BSP in the Rajya Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh, if it wanted the support of BSP legislators for its candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh.
The Rajya Sabha polls are scheduled for March 23.
Elections will be held for 58 seats, including 10 from UP.
Given its strength, the BJP is set to win nine of these.
However, the SP, BSP and Congress can unitedly send one candidate to the Rajya Sabha.
Mayawati had quit her Rajya Sabha seat in July last year.
The BSP did poorly at the 2017 legislative assembly poll in Uttar Pradesh, winning only 19 of the 403 seats.
And, couldn’t win even a single seat (of 80 from the state) in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll. However, on both occasions, the party did hold hold on to a significant 20 per cent vote share.
According to sources, several opposition parties have reached out to Mayawati, to be agreeable on an electoral understanding with the SP and Congress for the next Lok Sabha poll.
A possible scenario is that the SP and the BSP contest 25 seats each of the 80 from UP, while the Congress contests 10. With a “friendly fight” among these three in the other 20.
The BSP and the SP had an alliance for the 1993 Uttar Pradesh assembly poll.
The two had combined to defeat the BJP, in the wake of the demolition of the Babri mosque and the Ram temple agitation.
The two had formed a coalition government but the alliance was severed, followed by the infamous ‘guest house incident’ (where the SP cadre had surrounded the place where Mayawati was staying and threatened violence).
In 1996, the Congress and BSP had an alliance for the UP assembly poll.
This was the last such occasion of the BSP having a pre-poll electoral alliance with any party.
However, the BSP recently announced a pre-poll alliance with the Janata Dal-Secular for the Karnataka assembly poll.
In Parliament, opposition parties are set to raise the big bank fraud case, with the Congress having given notice for its discussion.
The session is expected to be stormy, with BJP members likely to raise the issue of the arrest of Karti Chidambaram, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
There is no consensus yet within the opposition over unitedly demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe in the bank fraud.
The Trinamool Congress opposes this.
Apart from getting demands for budgetary grants passed, the government could also seek to get the ‘triple talaq’ Bill passed.