The Samajwadi Party and Congress alliance has raised the stakes for other parties including the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh. While the BJP is unlikely to change its course of campaigning and strategy, the same can not be spoken of for Mayawati's BSP. The larger chunk of target voters for both the BSP and the Congress-SP alliance being Muslims and Dalits, BSP stands to lose a lot in case of favour to the SP-Congress alliance. To tackle this very issue, political observers in UP say that Mayawati is adopting the 'divide and rule' policy.
The SP is already a divided house with uncertainty looming large over Mulayam Singh Yadav's support or visible campaigning for his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's SP. The discontent among the Congress workers in the state is not concealed either. Hopes of many ticket aspirants were dashed as Congress got just a little over one-fourth of the seats for the upcoming assembly polls. Making the most of the bitterness seems to be the agenda of BSP supremo Mayawati as of now.
While in western UP, Mayawati is expected to carry out usual and conventional campaigning through rallies, road shows and public meetings, the BSP is expected to exploit the bitterness between Congress and SP workers in the east UP region. The BSP wants to breach SP bastions in East UP this time around. Political observers believe that a rung of BSP leaders have already been assigned the task of ensuring that the animosity continues between dissatisfied leaders of either party.
Akhilesh's sexist comment during a joint press conference with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi seems to have made matters only worse for Mayawati is set to retaliate with double the force and not with mere words. The BSP's key agenda currently is to protect their dwindling vote bank. Capitalising on the anti-incumbency among Muslim voters was the BSP's initial plan, but thanks to the alliance between the Congress and SP, things have taken a different turn. Mayawati now hopes to protect her vote bank as her cadres try to highlight the cracks in the Congress-SP alliance in the grassroots level.
To add to this the advantage, the BSP has many SP leaders joining the party recently. Senior leaders such as Ambika Chaudhary have joined the BSP and initiated an exodus of sorts. These leaders come with massive supporters and the same is likely to help the BSP infiltrate through the ranks of SP if not Congress.