SP-BSP: Electoral math sorted, challenge ahead is political chemistry
New Delhi, Jan 14: The mother of all elections are round the corner and the BSP and SP decided to come together to take on the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the kingmaker state.
The two parties announced that they would contest an equal number of seats, while leaving two for the RLD. It was also decided that they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi respectively.
If you add up the vote shares of the two parties in the 2014 elections, then it signals that they would emerge victorious. Looking plainly at the electoral mathematics, this is a winning combination says leading political scientist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri. However he also adds that electoral maths must be backed up with political chemistry as well.
At the ground level:
The big challenge for the alliance would be the operating of the workers at the ground level. Both workers of the SP and BSP will need to work together at the ground level in order to score big, Dr. Shastri says. The SP and BSP have been traditional rivals and this would have to be overcome at the ground level, he also adds.
On the Congress being kept out, I feel that it is strategy. Ultimately the three parties would come together, Dr. Shastri says.
The challenge ahead for the BJP is immense. We need to wait and watch to see what the BJP would do. I am sure that the party would have something up its sleeve, he also says.
Translation of votes:
On whether the upper castes would vote against the alliance if the Congress was party of it, Dr. Shastri says that this may not be the case. The BSP has at times taken the position that the upper castes have not been against the Dalits.
This one had got to witness when the BSP came to power with Mayawati as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Keeping the Congress out is a message to the party that it is not necessarily the leader of a non-BJP alliance. Given that position, the SP and BSP want to tell the Congress that they should not be taken for granted. The two parties want to keep the leadership factor open.
Akhilesh Yadav it may be recalled had sent a cryptic message about the next PM of India. He made it clear that the next PM would be from Uttar Pradesh. It could be anyone. It could be Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh Yadav or Mayawati.
Past data has shown that the BSP can transfer votes to other parties. The Congress-SP votes being transferred to the BSP has however not been proven. This explains why the BSP had never favoured an alliance. The BSP believes that its partner would benefit more than it in the case of an alliance.
This time however it is a survival factor. Had the parties not come together the BJP would have finished them electorally, Dr Shastri says.
The BJP sure does have a lot to worry about. This is a state which has 80 seats and any collapse in the seats could affect its dream of a majority. UP is a very important state and for the BJP 1 out of 5 MPs are from this state, Dr Sandeep Shastri also adds.