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SP focusing on new caste equations expanding base among Dalits

| | Lucknow | in Lucknow

Samajwadi Party is set to focus on forging new caste equations to expand its base among Dalits and OBCs to ensure winnability for elections rather than scouting for alliance with Congress or Bahujan Samaj Party. The party will formally endorse this line in its national convention at Agra on October 4.

SP strategists see the decline of BSP in UP politics as a `good omen’. The party is confident that it can position itself as the sole anti-BJP outfit in the state and easily eat up the political space vacated by the BSP.

“Alliance with the BSP at this stage would amount to `feeding the enemy’. We have committed the mistake of aligning with the BSP once in 1993 to keep the BJP from coming to power in UP. We succeeded in our endeavour in 1993 mid-term poll  held after the demolition of Babri mosque. But the alliance government so formed ended up in creating a big rival for us and we paid a heavy price,’’ said a SP leader closr to party chief Akhilesh Yadav. “Mayawati made our task easier by imposing the condition  of being part of a joint campaign only after non-BJP parties finalised seat-sharing formula for the polls ahead of the Patna rally organised by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav. We can not be held responsible for the failure of unity of secular parties,’’ said the SP leader.

“We claim to be a national party. Our core area is Uttar Pradesh and it will remain so. The need of the hour is to craft new social coalition and win back those sections of Dalits and OBCs which drifted towards the BJP due to our own follies in 2014 Lok Sabha poll and later in 2017 Assembly poll,’’ said the SP leader.  

Asked about the new narrative the SP was attempting to formulate to counter the BJP, the SP leader said, “Its an uphill task. Its not easy to fight `jumlas’ of the BJP. So we will focus at village and block level to apprise the people of unfulfilled promises made to farmers, poor and youths by the BJP in 2014 and later in 2017.’’

Another SP leader pointed out, “Old binaries like ‘Mandal vs Kamandal’ and ‘Secular vs Communal’ are no longer relevant political tools to fight the BJP. The Saffron party has smartly diffused these by crafting a mega narrative simultaneously  invoking nationalists, communal and class identities.’’ Meanwhile, the SP is set to elect its national chief and discuss its strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha poll in its convention in Agra on October 5. Former CM Akhilesh Yadav is set to be re-elected as the SP national chief. The convention is likely to see the passage of several political resolutions and the party will also explain its stand on alliance with secular parties. SP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Kiranmay Nanda said that the party’s constitution has been amended and now, national convention will be held every five years. “The election of president and national executive committee will take place once in five years. This will be the last convention before the 2019 Lok Sabha poll and hence poll strategy will be discussed,” he added. SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said that while the national executive meeting will take place on October 4, the convention will be held on October 5 when the strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha polls will be discussed.




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