Mulayam questions logic behind SP-BSP seat sharing formula

Lucknow: On a day that the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced the seat allocation formula for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav said that the party he founded 27 years back had been given a raw deal.

Addressing party workers, the former Chief Minister questioned the logic behind the seat sharing and said that the SP should have got more seats than the BSP.

“SP has more political muscle,” he said and alleged that party candidates were being weakened by such decisions.

He also predicted that had the party decided to go it alone, it would yield better results. The SP has more political muscle and presence hence the seat sharing baffles me, he added. Mulayam also said that he had formed a SP government thrice in the state due to the inner strength of the party and the hard work of its workers.

After a bitter and long-standing rivalry of 25 years, the BSP-SP had patched up and arrived at an electoral alliance for the Lok Sabha elections. They had also tested the waters in the by-polls for three parliamentary seats earlier and had successfully defeated the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kairana, Phulpur and Gorakhpur. The formal alliance was announced on January 12.

The SP will contest on 37 seats and the BSP will field candidates in 38 Lok Sabha constituencies. Two seats have been left for the Congress. The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has been given three seats in the alliance. Mulayam, insiders say, was particularly miffed as the SP got just 37 seats though it had won 5 seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections while the BSP had drawn a blank.

By this logic, a close aide of the former Union Defence Minister told IANS, the SP stood to gain but gave in to pressure from Mayawati.

The SP founder, who was pushed to the sidelines of decision making in his party in December 2016, had recently embarrassed his son and party chief Akhilesh Yadav by stating in the Lok Sabha that he wished that Narendra Modi returned as prime minister again. This, at a time when his son was trying to cobble together an alliance to stop the Modi juggernaut, had stunned many in the party and left them red-faced.