Opposition plays Dalit card, braces for seat pact with Mayawati

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Mayawati may lay claims on not less than 30 Lok Sabha seats.

BSP Chief Mayawati

BSP Chief Mayawati

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, January 14: The Opposition group, the Indian National Developmental and Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), is aiming to put the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on the pat by playing the Dalit card. With the Congress president Mallikarjuna Kharge as the chairperson of the Opposition block, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Mayawati’s next move is being keenly awaited.

Amid the evident strategy of the Opposition to work out the Muslim-Dalit consolidation against the saffron urge of the BJP, Mayawati-led BSP has become crucial in the scheme of things for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party (SP) appears to be sensing the move of the Congress as the party president Akhilesh Yadav broke ranks with other leaders in the INDIA block on attending the Ram idol consecration issue in Ayodhya. Yadav in a letter to Champat Rai, who hails from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has said that he along with his family members would come to Ayodhya for darshan after the consecration ceremony. This is in departure to the stand of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, and other constituents of the INDIA block.

Incidentally, the Akhilesh Yadav is also gearing up to put pressure on the Congress to not open channel with Mayawati for the seat adjustment pacts. This is in the backdrop of the political observers underlining that Mayawati may lay claims on not less than 30 Lok Sabha seats. This may ring alarm bells for the SP, for the party has laid claims on 65 Lok Sabha seats in the party’s initial talks with the Congress leaders.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is also beginning his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’ from tomorrow. He will be spending 11 days in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress has specially curated the yatra to reach out to the Dalit constituencies. In this backdrop, the Congress may seek an alliance with Mayawati to gain from the Muslim-Dalit consolidation. The Congress may also be keen to contest on at least 10 Lok Sabha seats in UP.    

Mayawati’s birthday tomorrow is fueling intense speculations in the political circles. She may drop hints of her next move tomorrow as per the political observers in the state. The BSP had won 10 Lok Sabha seats in UP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Mayawati led outfit had won the parliamentary constituencies of Lalganj, Shrawasti, Jaunpur, Nagina, Amroha, Saharanpur, Bijnour, Ghazipur, Ghishi, and Amroha.

The BSP leaders are also arguing that the party has the capability to make the Dalit-Muslim consolidation work in favour of the Oppositional alliance. They argue that while the BSP candidate had won the Saharanpur Lok Sabha seat in 2019 on the basis of the consolidation of the Dalit-Muslim, the SP had failed to win the Azamgarh seat. Incidentally, the BSP may now lay claim on even the Azamgarh Lok Sabha seat in the event the party negotiates seat pact with the INDIA grouping.    

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