Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls: BSP says no alliance with Congress, may contest alone on 230 seats

By: | Published: June 18, 2018 9:43 AM

The Bharatiya Janata Party is in power in Madhya Pradesh for the last 15 years. All the parties including the Congress are making efforts to forge an alliance of opposition parties that would take on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government this time.

Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, BSP, Mayawati, Grand Alliance, United opposition Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls: BSP says no alliance with Congress, may contest alone on 230 seats

Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has begun preparations for the upcoming assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh even with reports of Congress holding seat-sharing talks with the party and other smaller parties doing the rounds. The Indian Express reported that the BSP supremo was mulling over fielding candidates on all 230 assembly seats in the ‘absence of any decisive pre-poll alliance as yet’.

The report cited a review meeting on the Assembly poll held earlier this month in Bhopal which was attended by several senior party leaders. A senior BSP leader who attended the meeting said that the party is making preparations to contest on all 230 seats. “Nothing is final on the alliance so far and no directive has come from Mayawati,” the leader said.

“The party is ready to contest even if an alliance does not materialise. Our preparations are moving forward in view of Lok Sabha elections as well,” the IE report quoted him as saying.

As a part of its preparation, the party recently elevated its UP unit president Ram Achal Rajbhar as national general secretary and gave him the charge of the neighbouring poll-bound state. Besides, it has also divided the state into four zonal units from the organisational structure – Bhopal, Indore, Rewa and Gwalior — to gauge the mood of the voters. Senior party leaders from different castes had been given charge of each region.

Also, booth-level committees are being expanded to reach out to the public to seek votes. The IE report said that at present, the booth-level committees have six to seven members which will be expended to at least 23 keeping the caste and categories factors in the mind.

According to PTI, BSP state president Narmada Prasad Ahirwar on Sunday said that the party is not in discussion with the Congress to contest the assembly polls together. “I clarified that we are not in discussions at the state level and, I think, neither at the central leadership level,” Ahirwar said. His remark comes in the wake of media reports citing Congress leaders as that discussions are underway with the BSP for an alliance for the next assembly polls.

“As things stand today, we are going to contest all 230 Assembly seats,” Ahirwar said. “I have received no directives in this connection (alliance) from the central leadership.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party is in power in Madhya Pradesh for the last 15 years. All the parties including the Congress are making efforts to forge an alliance of opposition parties that would take on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government this time. But lack of coordination, trust and delay in taking decisions by the parties appear to be the biggest hurdle in the giving a final shape to an alliance.

After the success of ‘grand alliance’ in several bypolls across states held recently, talks of giving it a shape has gained momentum. At a recent meeting of the party leaders from all the states in Lucknow, Mayawati had said that the BSP ‘will team up with any party in any state, or national, election only if it gets a respectable number of seats’. Otherwise, she had maintained that the BSP ‘will prefer fighting elections alone’.

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh unit of Congress has claimed that the party never said that alliance talks were on with the BSP. MP Congress media cell in-charge Manak Agarwal said, “We never named any party. The Congress only said that we will try to have an alliance with political parties with similar ideology. We never mentioned BSP’s name.”

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