Lok Sabha Election

PM alleges SP-Congress ties behind BSP’s back

Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath greeting supporters in Pratapgarh on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at a rally in Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s remark that her party will play a spoiler for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh seats where the Congress did not have a strong candidate, applied only to Samajwadi Party seats and not to those contested by the Bahujan Samaj Party.

“Congress leaders are happily sharing the stage with Samajwadi Party leaders in rallies. These people have betrayed Behenji [BSP chief Mayawati] so cunningly that even she is not able to comprehend what is going on. The party which was staking claim to the Prime Minister’s post before the first round of polls [Congress], now admits to being a vote cutter,” he said.

This additional twist to the tale has come after the election in Uttar Pradesh is moving eastwards, where the SP has a large number of candidates in the fray, with seats in western U.P. going to the polls in the first two rounds. The SP-BSP alliance has been a challenge to the BJP in this election, and the party has made a study of the pattern of candidates and seat selection done by both the SP and the BSP, to come up with this statement.

According to senior BJP leaders involved in the campaign, Mr. Modi is pointing to the Congress’s candidate selection in western U.P., which they say were aimed at undermining the BSP rather than the SP in the same rounds of polling. “In Ghaziabad and Meerut for instance, the Congress fielded Dolly Sharma and Harendra Agarwal to damage the BJP’s chances as the SP had put up candidates in those seats, but in Bijnore and Saharanpur, it damaged the BSP’s prospects by fielding former BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddique and Imran Masood who would cut into the significant Muslim votes. Similarly, in Agra, the Congress fielded Preeta Harit, a retired Revenue Service officer who runs an NGO that works with Dalit communities in the area, who will be a direct challenge to the BSP. Additionally, the Congress has fielded Praveen Aaron in Bareilly, who could damage the upper caste base of the BJP as the SP has fielded a Gangwar candidate,” said the source.

The major issue with regard to any alliance is whether or not vote transfer takes place with ease among the partner parties. Mr. Modi’s remarks will not sit well with an alliance that has put aside nearly three decades of bitterness to come together.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:10:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/pm-alleges-sp-congress-ties-behind-bsps-back/article27036159.ece

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