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Amita Verma | AA Desk | Lucknow | Nov 1, 2016:: Halfway through its campaign in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has had a change of heart after witnessing recent developments in the ruling Samajwadi Party.
The BSP, which was focusing on reviving the Dalit-Brahmin combination that catapulted it to a complete majority in the 2007 Assembly elections in UP, is now focusing on a Muslim-Dalit alliance.
According to party sources, BSP chief Mayawati feels that it would be easier to win over Muslims who are now wary of the SP’s abilities to counter the BJP in the upcoming elections.
“The Muslims are apprehensive of the divisions in the ruling party and feel that the SP may not be able to challenge the BJP since it is facing problems within the party. The Congress, despite its efforts, remains a nonentity and the BSP alone is capable of stopping the BJP,” said a party functionary.
The party even plans to use its three alliances with the BJP to its advantage while wooing Muslims. The BSP had formed a government with the BJP support in UP in 1995, 1997 and then 2002 and its rivals have been claiming that the party could again ally with the saffron party if it falls short of the numbers.
“There is no denying the fact that when BSP formed government with BJP support, the BJP could not implement its communal agenda in the state. There were no communal riots and Muslims were safe in our regime than they have been in the SP regime. Moreover, after each alliance, the BJP kept losing its strength which means the BSP cut it down to size,” the functionary said.
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So, in her rallies, Ms Mayawati will emphasise this point and also explain how the SP and the BJP are hand-in-glove, added the party functionary.
The party leaders have already been asked to publicise the fact that a senior SP leader has accused their own family member (Ram Gopal Yadav) of conniving with the BJP, which is self-explanatory.
“There have been around 400 communal riots in the SP regime and Muslims have been at the receiving end. The BJP gained much strength in the Akhilesh regime, specifically after the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, and swept to power in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014,” the BSP leader added.
The BSP feels that its new strategy could prove to be a game-changer in the western UP where Muslims are looking towards a party that can dilute the communal polarisation. The Dalit-Muslim alliance can turn the tables for Ms Mayavati’s party and make it a “BJP versus BSP” battle in the UP elections.