Two In­dian Op­po­si­tion Par­ties Unite to Chal­lenge PM Naren­dra Modi

Sa­ma­jwadi Party and Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party an­nounce their al­liance ahead of In­dia’s gen­eral elec­tion in spring.

Fiji Sun - - Asia News -

To­day’s press con­fer­ence is one which will give sleep­less nights to Modi and the rul­ing BJP party chief, Amit Shah. Ku­mari Mayawati Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP) leader

Aformidable op­po­si­tion, a coali­tion of the re­gional Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) and the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP), has been an­nounced by the lead­ers of the two par­ties to chal­lenge In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in the gen­eral elec­tions due in a few months.

In­dia’s po­lit­i­cally cru­cial state of Ut­tar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the lower house of par­lia­ment and has pro­duced nine prime min­is­ters.

At a news con­fer­ence in state cap­i­tal Lucknow on Sat­ur­day, the SP headed by the young satrap, Akhilesh Ya­dav, and the BSP led by Dalit (low­est Hindu caste) leader Ku­mari Mayawati an­nounced they are en­ter­ing into an al­liance where they will con­test 76 seats as a team. “To­day’s press con­fer­ence is one which will give sleep­less nights to Modi and the rul­ing BJP party chief, Amit Shah,” the BSP chief said.

Mayawati, for­mer chief min­is­ter of the state and an icon to mil­lions of Dal­its, de­scribed this as a “new po­lit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion in the coun­try”.

In­dia’s lower castes, es­pe­cially the Dal­its, face con­tin­ued so­cial dis­crim­i­na­tion and even un­touch­a­bil­ity, de­spite the prac­tice be­ing out­lawed by par­lia­ment in 1955. Both Ya­dav and Mayawati took digs at Modi re­peat­edly.

“To hide their fail­ures, the rul­ing BJP has ac­tively spread an at­mos­phere of fear and ter­ror by fu­elling en­mity among dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties... We have de­cided to come to­gether to­day to fight the in­jus­tice per­pe­trated by the BJP,” Ya­dav, also a for­mer chief min­is­ter of the state, said.

SP and BSP have a large sup­port base of lower castes and are in a po­si­tion to be able to ma­nip­u­late the so­cial arith­metic of elec­tions in the state. Some an­a­lysts say it is a “killer-al­liance”.

SP leader Akhilesh Ya­dav and BSP chief Mayawati crit­i­cised Prime Min­is­ter Modi dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Lucknow, Ut­tar Pradesh.

PM Naren­dra Modi.

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