SP to contest assembly elections in the state on its own and thus split votes
GN Bureau | September 3, 2015
Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party have plenty to rejoice. The Samajwadi Party on Thursday pulled out of the 'grand alliance' in poll-bound Bihar, dealing a blow to Nitish Kumar. The SP also announced that it would contest the Assembly elections in the state on its own and thus split votes.
Though the walkout due to ‘humiliation’ may not cause much harm on the ground, it will be blot on Nitish’s ability to hold an alliance. First he broke with the BJP, and now the SP has broken with him.
The SP does not have a presence in Bihar in a substantial manner but caste equations in this elections can swing many ways. The party was not given any seat in the first seat-sharing exercise of Nitish-Lalu Yadav combine. It was given five seats on second thoughts which led to the state unit’s open rebellion.
SP was also upset with host of issues - that there was no poster of Mulayam Singh Yadav on the Grand Alliance posters, he was not consulted before seat-sharing, he was not kept in the loop about the first Grand Alliance rally and he was not asked if his party was comfortable sharing dais with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"SP felt humiliated as 'big' parties of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) did not consult it while declaring candidates in Bihar," general secretary Ramgopal Yadav said after the party meeting.
Ramgopal Yadav also said that the party will contest Bihar assembly elections alone and will have no role in the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).
Yadav said the party was not happy with the paltry two or five seats offered out of the 243 in the state assembly. "We will win much more seats by contesting on our own as compared to that being offered by the alliance. We will contest respectfully," he said.
Asked if cracks in Janata Parivar would boost the morale of communal forces, he said, "I wan't to know from you whether there was division of secular votes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh and BJP won."
"Why would we have won the 2012 UP Assembly elections if victory and defeat was based on division. In Bihar there is a contest between secular forces. This is not the logic," he said.
Meanwhile, the RJD and JD (U) leaders have gone into huddle and planning out rapprochement formula. It is possible that the SP could be conceded a few more seats.
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