SP wants poll alliance with Cong in UP

Kashmir Times. Dated: 9/23/2021 1:22:35 AM

NEW DELHI, Sep 22: The Samajwadi Party is believed to have sent feelers to the Congress for an electoral alliance in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year as a repeat of a similar deal done in the last elections in 2017.

Not discouraged by failure of the 2017 experiment, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, a former chief minister, has assessed that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be able to succeed only if there is a division of votes giving it the advantage.

Noting that the SP can't enter into any deal with the Bahujan Samaj Party of former CM Mayawati, the only major party in the state because she is suspected to hobnob with the BJP, Akhilesh has approached the Congress for yet another alliance, but on his terms.

In 2017, the BJP swept SP out of power winning over 320 seats in the House of 403 while the SP's strength slumped to 48 seats as against 224 in 2012. It had left 115 seats for the Congress but the latter failed miserably bagging with just seven seats as against 28 it had won in 2012 while contesting on its own. The SP had ousted Mayawati's BSP government, reducing her party's strength to 80 in 2012 while the BJP had then won 47 seats.

Akhilesh is pursuing a soft Hindutva approach to counter the Hindutva ideology of the BJP, discarding the MY (Muslim-Yadav) caste equations used by him and his father and SP founder Mualayam Singh Yadav. The new political slogan coined by him is "Nayi Hawa Hai, Nayi SP hai."

He has approached the Congress, welcoming appointment of Charanjit Singh Channi, a Scheduled Caste leader, as the Punjab chief minister and pointing out that it matches with his own party engaged in the mobilisation with the Dalit outreach programmes. His Samajwadi Lohia Vahini has started a village-to-village Dalit Samvad programme since last Sunday in various districts across Uttar Pradesh.

His party sources said a clarity on the alliance will emerge in the coming days when AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra starts holding the poll rallies by visiting the constituencies from September 29 to October 23. She is preparing for the Congress to contest the polls on its own, but she may be swayed from the SP shifting its age-old focus on Yadav to woo the Scheduled Caste population that has been otherwise seen as vote bank of the BSP, the SP sources said.

They see a synergy in both Priyanka and Akhilesh putting focus on the Dalits as the two parties striking an alliance in the coming days in what they describe as a Punjab effect.



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