8-0 in 2014: The SP-BSP big test today in Western Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi, Apr 11: The combined might of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is being put to test today as India votes in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
There are nearly 15 million people across 8 constituencies in Western Uttar Pradesh who are voting in the first phase today. The constituencies that will be polling today are Sahranpur, Kairana, Muzzafarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Gautam Buddh Nagar.
In the 2014 elections there was a four corner fight in these constituencies and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in all. This time around the BSP and SP are not on opposite sides. Instead they stitched up an alliance and are fighting the elections together.
The parties before allying with each other, tested their strength by coming together for the Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana by-elections. They managed to defeat the BJP, following which it was decided that they would go together in the 2019 polls as well.
The 8 seats have a significant population of Dalits. This would in fact put the caste arithmetic of the SP-BSP-RLD to test.
Further today would also witness a contest involving three union ministers- V K Singh, Satyapal Singh and Mahesh Sharma. The other interesting battle to watch out for would be the one between RLD chief, Ajit Singh and BJP MP Sanjeev Balyan at Muzzafarnagar, which is a communally charged constituency.
In 2014, the BJP alone had won 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It went on to put up an impressive performance in the UP assembly polls in which it won 325 of the 403 seats. This had in fact made it necessary for the SP and BSP to come together. The combine is eyeing for the MYD (Muslim-Yadav-Dalit) votes and feels that if this combination works, it would stall the BJP in a big way in the all important kingmaker state of Uttar Pradesh.