With less than a month to go for the parliamentary elections, it seems that the grand coalition is in tatters. The SP-BSP alliance in the state of Uttar Pradesh has faced yet another jolt. While the opposition was hopeful of forming a grand coalition in order to defeat the BJP, it has become amply clear that its hopes are getting dashed.
The fragile character of the SP-BSP coalition in the state of Uttar Pradesh stands exposed merely a couple of months after the two parties announced a seat-sharing tie up. In a major jolt to the BSP, it has been reported by The Indian Express that at least 15 BSP leaders have switched over to the BJP over the last one month. These leaders include 11 such leaders who had contested parliamentary or assembly elections as BSP candidates in the past.
There has been a remarkable exodus of grand coalition leaders to the BJP over the last one month. 28 leaders from the SP, RLD and the Congress have switched over to the BJP over the last month. However, Mayawati-led BSP has been clearly the worst affected of all parties. An alliance with the SP in Uttar Pradesh has cost it heavily with at least one leader who has switched over admitting that his move was aimed at securing an election ticket.
The BSP leaders who have switched over to the saffron party include Vijay Prakash Jaiswal, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate at that time, Narendra Modi, from Varanasi. Jaiswal has now switched over to the BJP. He reportedly said, “I got votes because of my personal popularity and not because of the BSP. My presence can help the BJP in Varanasi.” The Indian Express reported that BJP state general secretary said, “We have kept our doors open for new leaders, this will add new voters to the party. More people will join the BJP in the coming days.”
Earlier, a report had claimed that, after the announcement of seat sharing arrangement between the two parties whereby 38 Lok Sabha seats were allotted to the BSP BSP and 37 Lok Sabha seats were allotted to the SP, senior leaders from both the parties are finding it hard to be accommodated within the coalition. Therefore, they were trying to explore options outside their party fold. The report claimed that they were trying to explore opportunities in the Congress, the BJP and Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party. It seems that the report was not without substance and the way some key BSP leaders have migrated to the BJP corroborates that report.
It is clear that the BJP is the popular choice for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the opposition leaders do understand that. As the Lok Sabha polls are approaching closer, the grand coalition stands on the verge of falling apart in an abrupt fashion.
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