BSP-LSP al­liance may up­set cal­cu­la­tions of Congress, BJP

IM­PACT The tie-up with BJP rebel MP Saini’s party will have ef­fect on poll prospects of all ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Punjab & Haryana - Ra­jesh Moudgil ra­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

CHANDI­GARH: The al­liance be­tween the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP) and the Lok­tantra Su­rak­sha Party (LSP) of BJP’s rebel MP Ra­jku­mar Saini, which has been forged with an eye on the com­bined vote bank of Dal­its and back­ward classes (BCs) in Haryana, will have im­pact on the poll prospects of all ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the state.

While the al­liance, which was an­nounced on Satur­day after the BSP parted ways with the In­dian Na­tional Lok Dal, would up­set the cal­cu­la­tions of the both the rul­ing BJP and the op­po­si­tion Congress across the state, its fo­cus would be on the 17 assem­bly and two Lok Sabha re­served seats.

It is for the first time that two par­ties rep­re­sent­ing Dal­its and BCs have joined hands in the state.

Their al­liance comes right ahead of par­lia­men­tary and assem­bly polls in the state to be held later this year.

SEAT-SHAR­ING

The seat-shar­ing be­tween the two par­ties is also re­flec­tive of their well-planned and shrewd strat­egy. The Lok Sabha polls com­ing ahead of the assem­bly polls gives them an ad­van­tage.

Since the BSP is a na­tional party, it has cho­sen to con­test

eight of the to­tal 10 par­lia­men­tary seats.

This is likely to be a cause of con­cern for the Congress as a sub­stan­tial chunk of Dal­its and back­ward classes tra­di­tion­ally vote for the grand old party.

The al­liance may also spell trou­ble for the BJP as LSP supremo Raj Ku­mar Saini the party’s MP from Ku­ruk­shetra. The saf­fron party too banks on non-Jat vot­ers, Sai­nis be­ing an ap­pre­cia­ble chunk among them.

Since Saini’s LSP is still cut­ting its po­lit­i­cal teeth, it has agreed to con­test only two LS seats.

How­ever, in the assem­bly polls which will be held a few months later, the LSP has bagged a big­ger share of 55 seats, with the BSP re­main­ing con­tent on the other 35.

BIG JOLT TO INLD

The new tie-up is a big jolt to the INLD, the prin­ci­pal op­po­si­tion party in Haryana, which stood al­ready weak­ened after its Hisar MP Dushyant Chau­tala and his younger brother Digvi­jay floated the Jan­nayak Janta Party (JJP) in the wake of their ex­pul­sion from the party about three months ago.

Digvi­jay fin­ished sec­ond in the re­cently held Jind by­poll, push­ing the INLD-BSP al­liance to a hu­mil­i­at­ing fifth po­si­tion.

Po­lit­i­cal ob­servers, how­ever, look askance at both the longevity and per­for­mance of the BSPLSP al­liance.

The BSP, which started field­ing its can­di­dates in Haryana assem­bly polls from 1984 on­wards, had come up with its best per­for­mance in 2009, when its vote share was about 16 % in the Lok Sabha elec­tions and about 7 % in assem­bly polls, held the same year. The party suc­ceeded in win­ning one seat each in the assem­bly elec­tions held in 1991 (Narain­garh), 2000 (Ja­gadhri), 2004 (Ch­hachhrauli), 2009 (Ja­gadhri) and 2014 (Prithla).

BSP’S PAST TIE-UPS IN HARYANA

In 1998 Lok Sabha elec­tions, the BSP had en­tered into an al­liance with the erst­while Haryana Lok Dal (Rashtriya) and man­aged to win the Ambala Lok Sabha seat where it had fielded Aman Ku­mar Na­gra. How­ever, the tie-up was short-lived as it broke in about a year’s time.

The BSP had al­liance with the Haryana Jan­hit Congress led by Bha­jan Lal in 2009, though it collapsed be­fore assem­bly elec­tions later that year.

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