SP-BSP alliance will contest elections together in UP

SP-BSP alliance will contest elections together in Uttar Pradesh

Will contest 38 seats each in Lok Sabha polls 

Finally the SP-BSP alliance declared today in Lucknow for upcoming Lok Sabha Polls in UP. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each out of the state’s 80 parliamentary constituencies.

SP-BSP alliance

The parties kept the Congress out of the alliance, but said they will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The alliance left two more seats for smaller allies.

SP-BSP alliance
SP-BSP alliance

Making the announcement at a joint press conference with SP president Akhilesh Yadav here, BSP chief Mayawati said that the alliance will rob Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of their sleep.

“The BJP taught us how to do ginti (arithmetic),” said Mr. Yadav on Friday, claiming that despite having a superior record on development, his party had lost out on the arithmetic.

The parties kept the Congress out of the alliance, but said they will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The alliance left two more seats for smaller allies

A result of this strategy was seen in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana where the BJP lost its in by-polls as the grand-alliance tested waters successfully.

Mr. Yadav said the number of alliances stitched up by the BJP to win elections had gone unnoticed. The proximity between the two old rivals, the SP and BSP, started soon after the drubbing in the 2017 Assembly election in which the BJP and its allies secured 325 seats out 403.

The BJP played down the potential of the SP-BSP alliance, with CM Yogi Adityanath calling it a “desperate attempt to save their existence.” “Public knows the truth and they will give the reply when time comes,” he said.


Mulayam’s wife Sadhna Yadav ‘hurt’ with SP family feud

Mulayam’s wife Sadhna Yadav ‘hurt’ with SP family feud, Netaji’s insult; wants Akhilesh to win Uttar Pradesh polls.


mulayam's wife


Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s wife Sadhna Yadav on Tuesday opened up on the much-reported feud in her family involving Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Ramgopal Yadav, ‘Netaji’ and Shivpal Yadav.

While claiming that she was ‘very hurt’ with the family feud, Sadhna Yadav said, “I don’t want to blame anybody for it.”

She made these remarks when asked about the allegations made against her that she wanted to break the party.

Speaking her heart out, Mulayam’s wife said, “Whatever the situation was, Netaji shouldn’t have been insulted, as he is the one who founded and nurtured the party.”

While dismissing reports of a rift with her step son Akhilesh, Sadhna Yadav said, “I have had more conversation with Akhilesh since January 1, than I had in last 5 years,” adding that she wanted him to win the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections and become the chief minister again.

When asked to comment on Shivpal Yadav, who is locked in a bitter battle with nephew Akhilesh, Sadhna Yadav said, “Shivpal ji shouldn’t have been insulted, he was not at fault. He has done a lot for Netaji and the party.”

Raising suspicion that somebody might be misleading Akhilesh, Sadhna said that she never considered UP CM as her step son.

“I don’t know who misled Akhilesh, he respects Netaji and me a lot,” she asserted.

The signs of thaw in Mulayam’s immediate family were evident with both Akhilesh and his wife Dimple Yadav campaigning for Aparna Yadav, daughter-in-law of Sadhna Yadav.

Aparna is seeking election from Lucknow Cantt.

Aparna is married to Mulayam’s second son Prateek and is pitted against BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi who had crossed over to the BJP from the Congress just before elections.

On being asked why she never entered the political arena, Sadhna Yadav replied, “Netaji didn’t allow her to do so.”

Sadhna, however, added that she continues to work from background.

She categroically stated that she doesn’t wants to enter politics, but would certainly like her son Prateek Yadav to join politics.

Sadhna Yadav’s comments come at a time when Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh appears isolated with son Akhilesh Yadav coming on top in the ugly battle for political supremacy.

Having anointed himself the party’s national president, in a dramatic coup against his wrestler-turned-politician father, the 43-year-old Akhilesh Yadav is in full control of the party.

Egged on by uncle and Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav has been making the right moves since raising the banner of revolt against his ageing father.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav did not campaign for uncle Shivpal in the elections though he held rallies in nearly all other nearby seats.

-March 7, 2017, Lucknow


Hard work is more powerful than Harvard : Modi

Hard work is more powerful than Harvard : Narendra Modi

Modi’s remark comes against the backdrop of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s comment that demonetization is a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said, “ Hard work is more powerful than Harvard” as the latest GDP data shows demonetisation did not affect growth rate, rather the figures improved.

Hard work, microstat“On the one hand are those [critics of note ban] who talk of what people at Harvard say, and on the other is a poor man’s son, who through his hard work, is trying to improve the economy,” he said at an election meeting in Maharajganj.

“In fact, hard work is much more powerful than Harvard” he said.

Mr. Modi’s remark came against the backdrop of Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen terming demonetisation a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust.”

On February 28, the government pegged the GDP growth at a higher than expected 7.1% for 2016-17, despite the cash blues, which was higher than China’s 6.8% for October-December period of 2016, making India retain the tag of the world’s fastest growing economy.

On the electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi said the electorate had ensured the BJP’s victory in the first five phases and now they would give surplus votes as “gift and bonus” in the remaining two rounds.

“I request the voters of the State to give the rest of the two phases as bonus to the party. This is similar to the chillies and coriander leaves, which the vegetable seller gives to the buyer as bonus,” he said drawing applause from the crowd.

A few days back, the Prime Minister spoke of the possibility of a hung Assembly in the State, saying that the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party were waiting for such an opportunity for bargaining. This prompted Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to comment that after dreaming of 300-plus seats, Mr. Modi is now talking about a fractured verdict.


Mulayam Singh will campaign for Shivpal first

UP elections 2017: Mulayam Singh will campaign for Shivpal first and not Akhilesh

UP elections 2017: Mulayam Singh will campaign for Shivpal first and not Akhilesh

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav announced that he will first campaign for his brother Shivpal Yadav and then for son and Uttar Pradesh Chief MinisterAkhilesh Yadav.

According to reports, Mulayam will start my campaign for Shivpal from February 9 from Jaswantnagar.

In a shock move, Shivpal Yadav, who has apparently left stung after Election Commission’s decision to allot the bicycle symbol in Akhilesh’s favour, had on January 31 announced that he would form a new political party after March 11, the day election results of five states would be declared.

Shivpal, a four-time MLA from Jaswantnagar, is a nominee from the same seat.

“I will campaign for Akhilesh later,” ANI quoted Mulayam Singh as saying.

Earlier, Mulayam had expressed his displeasure over Congress-SP alliance and had ruled out to campaign for his son Akhilesh Yadav in the run up to the state Assembly elections.

Shivpal, who filed his nomination papers on the Samajwadi Party’s ticket from Jaswantnagar, said that he would be campaigning for those denied tickets by Akhilesh.

Shivpal also highlighted the work done by his ministry. “We ran the government for five years, was my ministry’s performance inferior to others,” he said.

Hours after the news of alliance between Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party newly elected president Akhilesh Yadav came up, Mulayam claimed that the party could win the elections on its own and that the “SP-Congress alliance wasn’t needed”.

He also blamed Akhilesh for agreeing to concede at least 105 out of total 403 seats to the Congress as part of the seat-sharing agreement.

Akhilesh had too expressed his hopes that his father Mulayam would campaign for the alliance.

“I am sure Mulayam Singh Yadav will campaign for us,” he told media.

Uttar Pradesh will go to assembly elections on February 11 and counting of votes will begin on March 11.

-February 3, 2017, Lucknow


BJP may bag 206-216 seats in Assembly elections

BJP set to win Uttar Pradesh, may bag 206-216 seats in Assembly elections

BJP set to win Uttar Pradesh, may bag 206-216 seats in Assembly elections: Survey

A pre-poll survey on Wednesday predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will emerge as the single largest party in Uttar Pradesh in the seven-phase Assembly elections.

The survey, conducted by India Today-Axis in October and December last year, shows an increase in BJP’s vote share from 31 percent in October (before note ban) to 33 percent in December.

In 2012 Assembly polls, the BJP had a 15 percent vote share. It had bagged 47 seats.

Also, demonetisation move seems to have had no impact on voters.

As for seats, the BJP may get 206-216 seats as per the opinion poll in the 403-member UP Assembly.

On the other hand, the ruling Samajwadi Party is likely to get a vote share of 26 percent in the latest survey and may emerge as the two party with 92-97 seats.

Meanwhile, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) might win 79-85 seats.

The Congress is likely to get six percent vote share as per the survey and win only 5-9 seats.

Other parties in UP like Rashtriya Lok Dal, Apna Dal and the Left may win 7-11 seats.

Interestingly, Akhilesh Yadav emerged as the choice for the next CM with 33 percent of those surveyed wanting him to come back power.

Also Read – 7-phase polls in UP, 2-phase in Manipur, single phase in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand; counting on March 11

Assembly elections in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will be held between February 4 and March 8.

While polling will be spread over seven phases in Uttar Pradesh, it will be a one-day affair in Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa, and a two-day exercise in Manipur.

In UP polls will be held on February 11 (73 constituencies), February 15 (67 constituencies), February 19 (69), February 23 (53), February 27 (52), March 3 (49) and March 8 (40).

Counting of votes will be taken up together in all the states on March 11, the Election Commission announced today.

-January 4, 2017, New Delhi



32% feel BJP will form next government in UP

32% feel BJP will form next government in Uttar Pradesh 

32% feel BJP will form next government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017: Survey

Stakes are high for all the major political parties in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.

No wonder then the Samajwadi Party, BSP, BJP and Congress are leaving stones un-turned to woo the voters.

Though there is still some time for the polls, as per a recent survey it has emerged that Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as the front-runner for CM post.

On the other hand, the BJP has emerged as the party who majority respondents feel will form the next government in the state.

Following are the findings that have emerged from the ABP News-Cicero poll, which was conducted between 24 and 25 July in 10 constituencies of UP.

Questions were asked to 1000 people.

28 percent said that first choice as UP CM was Akhilesh Yadav, 25 percent said Mayawati, 17 percent said Yogi Adityanath, 6 percent said Keshav Prasad Maurya and 5 percent said Shiela Dikshit.

In the ‘Others’ category there were 8 percent, while 11 percent said ‘Can’t say’.

(The percentage is not vote share. It is response of 1000 respondents.)

Meanwhile, 32 percent of the respondents believed that BJP would form the next government in the state, 26 percent said Samajwadi Party, 24 percent said BSP, 7 percent said Congress, 4 percent said Hung Assembly and 7 percent said ‘Can’t say’.

As for the main issue that that will be given prominence when voters cast their votes, 78 percent said Development, 7 percent Caste, 5 percent Religion, 2 percent Others and 8 percent said ‘Can’t say’.

When asked whether Priyanka Gandhi Vadra can bring Congress back in UP, 19 percent said Yes, 51 percent said No and 30 percent said Can’t say.

-August 3, 2016, Lucknow


National Executive meeting; PM gives BJP power of 7 Ss

National Executive meeting; PM gives BJP power of 7 Ss

Making a fervent appeal to the people to bring “change” in Uttar Pradesh by voting the BJP to power and reject parivarvad (nepotism), “arrogance”, “casteism” and “goondaism,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said if given the mandate to rule the State, his party would accomplish 50 years of  pending work in five years.

Addressing a huge rally here at the Parade Ground at the end of the two-day National Executive meeting of the party, Modi said recent polls verdicts, particularly a clear win in Assam, have indicated a change in UP and it was time to end the “contract of loot between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.”

He asked all attending the meeting to switch on the lights of their mobile phones to felicitate people of Assam for giving their mandate to the BJP to rule the State.

BJP president Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also addressed the rally ahead of Modi’s speech. BJP veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi along with Central Ministers and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States also attended the meeting.

Earlier, addressing the concluding session of the National Executive meeting, Modi asked his party and the cadre to work for bringing development and change. He said people were no longer satisfied with “mere sloganeering” but observe if the country was growing strong or not.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who briefed the media on the PM’s concluding remarks in the meeting, said, Modi gave seven points which are relevant for the party and workers to follow. The seven points are: seva bhav (sense of service), santulan (balance),  sanyam (patience), samanvay,  (coordination) sakaratmak (positivity) samvedna (sensitivity) and samvad (dialogue).

After the National Executive meeting, Modi along with top party leaders, reached the Parade Ground to address the public, from where he sounded the poll bugle.

Amidst loud clapping from the audience, Modi accused political rivals the SP and the BSP of having “a tacit understanding” of not probing each others’ corruption cases when in power.

In a speech full of interactive phases, Prime Minister asked questions and sought answers from the public. The PM asked the people “how many corruption cases” were lodged by the SP against the BSP even though when in Opposition the former had made several allegations against the latter. “Now, Mayawati accuses the SP. Unko bhi kuch nahin hoga, dono main jugal bandi hain. UP maain contract chalta hain,” he quipped.

Stepping up the attack against both the parties Modi said, “Development is not possible in UP if this contract of loot is not ended” in the State. Modi again asked the audience whether they got the benefit of Rs 1 lakh crore allocated by the Centre to the Sate and quipped, “pata nahin, pahuchta hain ya nahin.”

He said if every penny is utilized properly UP could become the number one State.

He said progress and development has been achieved in all the BJP-ruled States and appealed to the people to give BJP a chance in UP adding they could kick out the BJP Government if power was used for self-perpetuation. “Lath mar ke nikal dena”, Prime Minister said in Hindi amidst loud cheers.

 In an effort to connect with the people of Allahabad, Modi used symbolism of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati and called the city the land of “Nishad Raj” as he reminded them that once University of Allahabad was known as “the Oxford of the East”.

Modi said to bring UP on the high road of development people will have to put an end to “bhai-bhatija vad”, “Parivarvad” , “goondaism” and casteism and appealed to the people to bring out change by voting out SP rule and put the BJP in the saddle.

– 14 June 2016 | Deepak K Upreti | Allahabad (Parade ground)

Third Front. Now on, now off…- KG Suresh

Third Front. Now on, now off…

By- KG Suresh

Indian democracy has adequate space for a viable ‘third’ alternative or even an alternative in the first place if the Congress fails to take off. But it has to be ensured that such a front is evolved gradually, based on past experiences of the good and the bad

With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar assuming charge as the national president of Janata Dal (United), prospects of the revival of the defunct Third Front idea has again become the talk of the town. Political observers have often compared the idea to a seasonal frog which appears ahead of general elections and disappears thereafter. Twice in the last two decades, the satraps of these non-Congress and non-BJP regional parties with divergent interests and ideologies, stitched up a rag-tag alliance and assumed power at the Centre, with outside support from the Congress. However, these coalitions remained politically unstable and eventually fell under the weight of their own inherent contradictions.

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll too, one witnessed the rather premature demise of the 11-party Third Front. After the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK dumped the alliance with the Left parties in Tamil Nadu within days of its announcement, other key constituents, the Samajwadi Party, the JD(U) and the Left parties decided to contest the elections on their own in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other States.

The then CPI general secretary, (late) AB Bardhan admitted in a television interview later that it was a mistake for the Left Front to attempt to forge a third front alliance before the poll. The proposed Third Front also did not have the support of either Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, BSP supremo Mayawati, BJD chief Naveen Patnaik or AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal — all of whom are powerful in their home States.

Ahead of the 2009 general election, one saw former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda taking the initiative for the formation of a Third Front with a massive rally in Karnataka, attended and addressed by several leaders including Prakash Karat, AB Bardhan, Chandrababu Naidu and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra, besides representatives of the AIADMK and the Haryana Janhit Congress. Ever an aspirant for the top post, the JD(S) supremo goaded these parties to chalk out a ‘common minimum programme’, but failed to achieve any breakthrough.

Ironically, even as the results were trickling in, one saw the pathetic sight of Gowda’s son and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy entering 10, Janpath, with his face covered, to extend his party’s unconditional support to UPA2. It was not long before that he had deserted the Congress to form a coalition Government in Karnataka with the BJP and later backed out in the name of ‘secularism’, when he had to hand over the chief ministership of the State to the BJP under a 20-month rotation agreement.

Ahead of the election, CPI(M) leader  Sitaram Yechury had discounted the possibility of its allies in the so-called Third Front embracing the Congress or the BJP after the Lok Sabha poll. With the BSP and the JD(S) switching loyalties to the UPA and the TRS walking over to the NDA within days of the poll verdict, an embittered Yechury had to eat his words and state that the post-poll developments have proved that the ‘cut and paste’ alliance was a mistake.

Subsequently, one saw the Samajwadi Party along with its arch rival from Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party led by Mayawati, who had projected herself as the Third Front’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2009 poll, together serving as crutches for the UPA Government after its key allies, the TMC and the DMK walked out of the alliance.

While there has been a clamour for bipolar polity in the country on the lines of the United States and the United Kingdom, the fact remains that India is a geographically diverse country with multiplicity of languages, castes, religions, et al. It was felt that the so-called mainstream parties have failed in the past six decades to cater to the grievances and aspirations of the people resulting in the emergence of regional parties.

Apart from providing an alternative to both the Congress and the BJP, this front, it was felt,  had the potential to bring together under a national banner a host of parochial political parties for a greater common cause. These political parties could bring to the national table a range of regional experiences and thereby herald a bottom-up approach as against the prevailing top-down approach to development. While the country needs a strong Centre in terms of defence, external affairs and dealing with insurgency, terrorism and Maoism, the planning and developmental processes are in urgent need of decentralisation. Here again, one hoped that the Third Front parties could help strengthen the federal characteristics enshrined in the Constitution.

If anti-Congressism was the politically correct stand from the mid-60s to the late 80s, interspersed with the failed experiments of the Janata Party and the National Front coalitions, anti-BJPism laid the foundations of a third alternative in the 90s and thereafter. However, by aligning with both the major national parties from time to time under the garb of ‘stability’ or ‘keeping communal forces at bay’, the Third Front partners have come to be viewed as power-hungry regional satraps wanting to share the spoils of office at the Centre. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi continuing to top the popularity charts among political leaders and the Congress not yet showing signs of any major revival, there is a vacuum so far as an effective and constructive political opposition at the Centre is concerned.

Can Nitish Kumar fill up that gap? His latest move is yet to elicit a positive response even from his ally, Lalu Prasad, in his home turf of Bihar itself. With the Congress and the Left parties coming together in West Bengal to oppose Mamata Banerjee, the possibility of Trinamool Congress being part of a future Third Front seems unrealistic for the time being. There are also question marks on whether Naveen Patnaik would join hands Nitish Kumar and Mulayam Singh Yadav play second fiddle.

Yet, it would be premature to write the epitaph of the Third Front, for politics is the art of the possible. Notwithstanding the clamour for a bipolar polity, regional parties cannot be wished away. They are here to stay till the national parties reach out to the grassroots across the country and cater to the growing aspirations of the people. They will continue to be a force to reckon with so long as illiteracy remains, caste and linguistic loyalties are in vogue and regional imbalance persists.

Indian democracy has adequate space for a viable ‘third’ alternative or even an alternative in the first place if the Congress fails to take off, but it has to be ensured that the ‘front’ is evolved gradually, based on past experiences with all opportunist elements kept out, adherence to certain commonly agreed policies, principles, ideology and programme of action, coordination within and outside parliament as also seat arrangements, common manifesto and joint campaign during state and national elections.

(The writer is a senior journalist and commentator)

Link- http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/third-front-now-on-now-off.html