Maya May Fo­cus on West, Akhilesh on East

BSP may get Bu­land­shahr, Bi­jnor, Meerut & Aligarh while SP may fight on Go­rakh­pur, Al­la­habad, Aza­m­garh...

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: BSP could con­test a ma­jor­ity of the 17 re­served seats as well as most of those in Western Ut­tar Pradesh as part of its 38-seat deal with­theSa­ma­jwadiParty,with­both sides said to have de­cided on many of the seats.

Mayawati, Akhilesh Ya­dav and Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav are set to con­test these Lok Sabha polls, with the fa­ther-son duo set to fight from Kan­nauj and Main­puri, re­spec­tively.Mayawa­ti­mayp­ick­aseat­tootoreen­ter the Lok Sabha after 15 years. She has won twice from Ak­barpur seat in East UP, the last time she con­tested in 2004.

Key seats like Bu­land­shahr, Agra, Bi­jnor, Meerut, Sa­ha­ran­pur, Nag­ina and Aligarh are ex­pected to be con­tested by BSP while seats

MAYA MAY EN­TER FRAY

like Etawah, Lucknow, Mo­rad­abad, Go­rakh­pur,Al­la­habad,Kan­pu­rand Aza­m­garh are ex­pected to be con­tested by SP. Bagh­pat and Mathura seats have been left for RLD’s Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary. The SP-BSP al­liance may con­test these two seats too if RLD re­fuses their of­fer and goes to align with the Con­gress party in UP.

Akhilesh Ya­dav on Satur­day said that he was will­ing to make a com-

CASTE BAL­ANCE

prom­ise for lesser seats but said he was grate­ful to Mayawati for mak­ing both par­ties equal part­ners. This is also seen as a mes­sage to the vot­ers and work­ers of both sides that no part­ner was in­fe­rior – – hence aid and en­able voter-trans­fer to ei­ther camp. BSP has iden­ti­fied seats where Dalit-Mus­lim vot­ers are enough to help it win with some vote trans­fer from the Yadavs while SP will bank on seats where the Ya­dav- Mus­limpop­u­la­tion­is­de­ci­sive,along with some Dalit back­ing.

SP has been elec­torally more suc­cess­ful than the BSP in UP both in the 2014 and 2017 elec­tions. BJP had been at­tack­ing the pro­posed al­liance in the past ask­ing if SP work­ers would ac­cept lesser seats for their party com­pared to the BSP in an al­liance. The equal-seat deal hence si­lences that cri­tique from the BJP, SP lead­er­stoldET.“Whogetswhich­seat de­pends also on who fin­ished sec­ond on­which­seatin2014and2009,aswell as con­sid­er­ing ei­ther party’s tra­di­tional strengths in terms of vot­ers,” one of these lead­ers told ET.

While the SP had won five seats in the 2014 LS polls and fin­ished sec­ond in 31 seats, BSP won no seat but fin­ished sec­ond in 33 seats. Of the two seats where the BSP fin­ished sec­ond, the SP won the Go­rakh­pur and Phulpur seats in the by-elec­tions.

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