Bhopal: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), under the leadership of Mayawati, is hoping to emerge a ‘kingmaker’ in Madhya Pradesh elections by winning 30-plus seats with around 10 per cent vote share. “We are sensing a positive atmosphere in our party’s favour, especially among the youth,” said party state president Pradip Ahirwar, adding it’s only the BSP that can offer a close fight to BJP in Madhya Pradesh.
“We can defeat the BJP on 32 seats and are in close contention with the party on 75 other,” Ahirwar said, denying any possibility of an alliance with the Congress or Samajwadi Party. “Bahanji (Mayawati) has already clarified our stand on alliance with the Congress,” he said.
“The BSP is eyeing around 10 per cent vote share and 30-plus seats, which could help us become the kingmaker, if not the king itself, in the post-poll scenario. In districts such as Panna, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Damoh, Chhatarpur, Balaghat, Katni and Singrauli, we are hopeful of opening account for the first time,” said the party state head.
The party’s best performance was in 1993 in undivided MP when it clinched 11 seats, including four that now fall in Chhattisgarh. In 2013 assembly polls, four BSP candidates have managed wins with the party, securing around 6.5 per cent vote share.
The BSP state head, who recently took over from Narmada Prasad Ahirwar after he got embroiled in sexual harassment allegations from a party worker, claimed that the April 2 Dalit Mahabandh will definitely help the BSP in elections. “Reserved categories would also turn to the BSP for support over reservation in promotion issue,” he said. Hundreds of cases were slapped on Dalits following a violent bandh on April 2 in Gwalior-Chambal region.
In a stinging assault on the Congress, Ahirwar called the party “leaderless” as Rahul Gandhi has “failed to leave impression as its president”. Ahirwar said the Congress will have to bear the brunt of Digvijay Singh’s lies on the alliance.
Not sparing Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan either, the BSP state president said Chouhan is planning to contest from two seats as his condition is really weak in his hometown Budni.
Ahirwar said BSP chief Mayawati is schedules to hold eight public rallies in MP, three each in Rewa and Chambal divisions, one each in Jabalpur and Bhopal from Nov 18 to 26.
The party derives maximum support from Vindhya, Gwalior and Chambal regions.
In addition to 22 names announced on September 20, the BSP announced 29 names on Friday. As candidature of Lakhan Singh Yadav from Sevdha (Datia) included in first list is being reconsidered by the party, in all the party has announced 50 candidates and plans to clear all the names of the candidates by October 31.
A BSP-Congress alliance was in the air for months in MP until BSP unilaterally announced candidates on 22 seats in September. However on October 3, Mayawati announced that there would be no alliance with the Congress MP, blaming AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh for the alliance efforts which failed to fructify.
The fact that despite having won four seats in 2013 as it mustered over 20,000 votes on 17 seats, and importantly, secured 10,000 or more votes at 62 constituencies, the BSP had emerged as an obvious ally for the Congress.