Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati could be depending on the tried and tested Dalit-Muslim unity formula — this time — for the by-polls being held in western Uttar Pradesh.
BSP is contesting in the by-polls to dent the prospects of Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party and to wring some control on power out from the Samajwadi Party, the Akhilesh Yadav-led party with which she allied in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
For by-polls on four seats (one each in Rampur, Bulandshahar, Firozabad and Amroha) in western UP, she has pushed forward Muslim candidates on three and a Dalit candidate on one, which is a reserved seat, looking at the advantage the region provides: the large presence of Muslim and Dalit voters in the region.
The perception is that she has an advantage over the Samajwadi Party in the region when it comes to the Muslim vote. The region gave the Samajwadi Party-BSP alliance a warming response in the 2019 elections.
A repeat of this performance in the by-polls in western UP won't hurt BSP's prospect in the state against Adityanath.
Mayawati has been vocal against Adityanath and his policies.
On the other hand, she has been keeping a softer tone for the Bharatiya Janata Party on national issues over the last few months.
Mayawati took to social media to say that she is against the passing of the agriculture bills in the Parliament, which has been done without clearing the doubts of everyone.
BSP's former ally and current rival in Adityanath's opposition, the Samajwadi Party, which is banking on its 2017 performance and the win in the 2018 by-polls for the Lok Sabha, that had stunned the BJP. SP had won three seats: Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana.
Mayawati has been trying to corner Adityanath on caste issues. She has also said that women are not safe in Uttar Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party has also been vocal in criticising Adityanath on caste issues, law and order and the Chief Minister’s efforts in combating Covid-19.
The by-polls are being described as a "mini assembly election" by the local media.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.