SP-BSP sees Cong. as junior partner

The Congress could be staring at being a poor third partner to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh with just eight seats to contest in the Lok Sabha election, going by the agreed formula between the main players.

Informal talks have been going on between the SP and the BSP for many months now. Sources say the two parties have agreed that the 2014 Lok Sabha results should be the parameter for sharing seats.

“In 2014, the Samajwadi Party won five seats and was in the second place in 31. The BSP was in the second place in 34. The Congress won two and was second in six. So from this, the SP should get 36 seats and the BSP 34. For the Congress, we can spare only eight seats,” a senior SP leader told
The Hindu
. The SP will have its national executive meeting on July 28, which will discuss the formula.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal will get two seats. By an analysis, these are Mathura, where Hema Malini of the BJP won and the RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary was second, and Varanasi, where Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“In exchange of Varanasi, we are ready to give it a seat in western Uttar Pradesh. They already hold Kairana. So the SP can spare one seat out of its 36, taking the RLD’s total claim to three,” the leader said.

There is no clash in vote share among the SP, the BSP, the RLD or the Congress if this formula is followed.

Both the BSP and the SP are clear that they will not court the Congress. “We saw in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year how the Congress behaved. They negotiated their seat share far above their capacity which eventually hurt the electoral fortunes of the alliance,” the senior leader said.

BSP supremo Mayawati, meanwhile, has been publicly staking claim to 40 seats and wants to be the senior partner in alliance.

“If the Congress acts pricey, we will be more than happy not to give them a place in the alliance,” a senior BSP leader said.

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