Mayawati’s BSP to go solo in MP Assembly polls after alliance with Congress hits roadblock

Bhopal: The idea of forming a joint Opposition in Madhya Pradesh to topple the incumbent BJP regime hit a roadblock after Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) decided to contest all 230 Assembly seats alone.

Putting the Congree-BSP alliance on the backburner, a senior state BSP leader clairified that the party is not in talks with the Congress for an alliance for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls slated for later this year.

According to emerging reports, both the parties are at loggerheads over Gwalior-Chambal region – a traditional stronghold for Congress lawmaker Jyotiraditya Scindia which is also a BSP bastion.

Hectic negotiations are reportedly ongoing behind the doors with neither party willing to budge on their demands.

“I was asked by the media that Congress leaders were saying that there are discussions underway with the BSP for an alliance for the next assembly elections. I clarified that we are not in discussions at the state level and, I think, neither at the central leadership level,” BSP state president Narmada Prasad Ahirwar told PTI.

“As things stand today, we are going to contest all 230 Assembly seats. I have received no directives in this connection (alliance) from the central leadership,” Ahirwar added.

The state Congress, meanwhile, has claimed that it never said alliance talks were underway with the BSP.

“We never named any party. The Congress only said that we would try to have an alliance with political parties with a similar ideology. We never mentioned the BSP’s name. It will depend on the situation when we enter the election phase,” Madhya Pradesh Congress’ media department’s chief Manak Agarwal said.

Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh are likely to be held in November-December this year.

In the 2013 MP Assembly elections, the Congress and the BSP polled 36.38 per cent and 6.29 per cent of the votes respectively against the BJP’s 44.88 per cent.

The BJP won 165 seats, the Congress 58, the BSP four while Independents won three seats in the 230-member Assembly.

In the 2008 Assembly polls, the Congress and the BSP secured 32.85 and 8.97 per cent votes respectively, which was collectively four per cent more than the 37.64 per cent vote share of the BJP.