Millennium Post (Kolkata)

After failed BSP experiment in 2019, SP pins hope on Congress tie-up to stop BJP juggernaut in UP

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

The coming general election may throw some surprising results in Uttar Pradesh with the SP-BSP alliance now replaced by the SP-Congress pact under the INDIA bloc.

The Samajwadi PartyBahuj­an Samaj Party alliance in 2019 had offered some resistance to the BJP on a handful of seats in the western and eastern parts of UP, but failed to make a big impact.

With BSP supremo Mayawati deciding to duke it out alone this time, it will be up to the SP and Congress to stop the marauding juggernaut of the NDA, which has now has RLD on its side, as well as a number of caste-based regional parties in the Poorvancha­l region.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and allies won 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The party ceded some ground in the 2019 general election, when the opposition parties scraped their combined tally to 16. Even with the convention­al anti-incumbency apprehensi­ons at work, the saffron party laid its claim on the state winning 62 seats, bolstered further by two more won by its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal).

In 2019, the maximum seats -- 23 -- for the BJP came from the state’s western part, where the SP-BSP alliance could manage to win only four seats each.

The BSP won Saharanpur, Bijnor, Amroha and Nagina (SC seat) in the western UP, while the Samajwadi Party emerged victorious in Sambhal, Moradabad, Mainpuri (first held by Mulayam Singh Yadav then by Dimple Yadav in a bypoll) and Rampur that year.

The central region of the state has prominent parliament­ary constituen­cies of Amethi and Rae Bareli -- both long considered bastions of the Congress. In 2019, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi retained her Rae Bareli seat, while her son Rahul Gandhi lost the long held Amethi constituen­cy to Union minister Smriti Irani.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh won from Lucknow.

The BSP won only one seat from this region in Ritesh Pandey, who bagged Ambedkarna­gar Lok Sabha constituen­cy. The SP scored a zilch.

The BJP won 13 seats from the region, which includes the coveted Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, the epicentre of a Hindu reverie that drowned parts of the nation in a collective religious fervour after the Ram Temple consecrati­on.

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