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200% final, no tying up with BJP to form UP govt: BSP

By Sangita Bakaya and Zafar Irshad
September 13, 2021 18:07 IST
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Senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra on Monday ruled out "200 per cent" any post-poll alliance with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, asserting that his party would form a government with a clear-cut majority.

The Bahujan Samaj Party would also not tie up with any other party, the close confidant of party supremo Mayawati told PTI in an interview.

"We will neither form an alliance with any other party nor take support. We would prefer to sit in the opposition," the BSP general secretary said.

"The BSP is forming its government in 2022 with a full majority. In case of any other scenario arising after the elections, we will never go with the BJP and this is 200 per cent final," he said.

Mishra's assertion came amid a growing perception that the BSP could again join hands with the saffron party if the 2022 assembly elections throw a hung House.

The BSP has in the past formed governments in the country's most populous state both with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party.

In 1993, it tied up with the SP, whose Mulayam Singh Yadav-headed the government. In 1995, it pulled out and Mayawati became CM with the BJP's support for a few months.

In 1997 and in 2002, the BSP again formed the government in coalition with the BJP.

In 2007, relying on a Dalit-Brahmin combination, the party formed the government on its own, winning 206 seats in the 403-member assembly.

The BSP is once again trying to revive this winning "Dalit-Brahmin" combination, holding a series of 'Brahmin sammelans' across the state.

Dalits constitute an estimated 20 percent of the population of Uttar Pradesh and the Brahmins are said to form 13 per cent.

"The BSP started the trend and all the parties are now aiming to rope in Brahmins and going all out to woo them," Mishra, the BSP's Brahmin face, said, referring to similar "sammelans" held by the BJP and the SP.

"But 80 per cent of the Brahmins are with us. Only those Brahmins who are office-bearers of any party or are themselves contesting the elections are not with the BSP, and all these parties are fighting for them through the outreach programmes," he said.

He claimed that not just the Brahmins but members of all other castes and religious groups who have a first-hand experience of the Mayawati government are supporting the party this time.

He claimed the party is all set to surpass its showing in the 2007 elections.

In an apparent reference to All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi, he claimed there is a trend of leaders coming from other states at election time to target Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.

He said these leaders will not succeed in their attempt to "mislead" the community.

"The Muslims have already seen Mayawati's government and know how safe they were then," the BSP leader said.

On outfits which enjoy influence in specific regions of the state, he said, "These small parties are sponsored by the BJP and they come out all of a sudden at the time of the elections to cut into the vote of their caste. But it will not have any effect."

Asked about some BSP leaders who were shown the door recently, Mishra said, "There is no place here for those who cheated and conspired against the party."

"There is no chance of return for the leaders who were given respectable positions by Behanji and they in turn started cheating. Leaders from other parties are welcome if they want to join the Bahujan Samaj Party," he added.

In July, the BSP had expelled the party's leader in the assembly Lalji Verma and senior leader Ram Achal Rajbhar.

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Sangita Bakaya and Zafar Irshad
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