After a long struggle by Congress leaders to communicate with BSP chief Mayawati, there has been a chat between Farooq Abdullah (National Conference chief) and her in the week gone by, where the two leaders discussed about the potential of an alliance in Uttar Pradesh under the I.N.D.I.A. banner.
The word is, Mayawati, during her phone call with Abdullah, asked for a seat-share equal to what she had in the 2019 alliance (38), which was seen as a subtle refusal (by her) to ally with the broad-based Congress-led alliance. Sources say that there had been talks among top Congress leaders pointing out the need to include the BSP in the alliance. They had insisted on the need to be accommodative of the BSP and also try to figure out seats outside UP where the BSP can contest within the fold of the alliance if the 38-seat share demand is not met in Uttar Pradesh. UP has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Asked why Abdullah was taking a keen interest in stitching together the alliance, a senior politician from I.N.D.I.A. said that Farooq Abdullah was very active, and there was pressure on him from the BJP to join the saffron camp; due to which he may have chosen the path of convincing leaders across the political spectrum to be part of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. Apparently, he is resisting the pressure. “He is a very senior and veteran leader. People listen to him when he speaks. If it was Omar Abdullah venturing out to speak with party leaders, nobody would listen to him. Therefore, he (Farooq) is in the fray to unite anyone he sees as a potential joinee,” said a source.
Later, Mayawati declined to be part of any alliance on social media platform X. She said, “NDA and I.N.D.I.A alliance are mostly parties with anti-poor casteist, communal, pro-Dhanna Seth and capitalist policies, against whose policies BSP is continuously struggling and therefore the question of contesting elections in alliance with them does not arise. Hence appeal to the media—no fake news please.”
She further added, “BSP, like in 2007, will contest alone the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in four states by connecting crores of neglected/scattered society on the basis of mutual brotherhood rather than the manipulations/manipulations of the opponents. Media should not spread misconceptions again and again. By the way, everyone here is eager for an alliance with BSP, but for not doing so, the Opposition alleges collusion with the BJP like a cat scratching a pole. If you meet them, then you are secular, if you don’t meet them, then you are with BJP. This is grossly unfair and if grapes are found, then it is better, otherwise the grapes are sour, like the saying.”
A Samajwadi Party spokesperson told The Sunday Guardian, “Even if there is equal divide in seat sharing between the BSP and SP, it will not be fair and proportionate division. If she had settled for 25 seats, then there could have been chances for further negotiations.”
A senior RLD leader said, “Last time, we were three parties (BSP, SP and RLD) contesting together, now there is Congress as well and we need to give a considerable number of seats to them also. Moreover, SP has around 111 Assembly seats and BSP has only one. Therefore, Mayawati seeking this number of seats isn’t fair.”