Even as the opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh are upbeat over the exit of Bharatiya Janata Party from power in Bihar, the leaders are clueless about political realignment in the state ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
The wisdom has dawned on the opposition parties that defeating the BJP in UP, which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha, is key to oust the saffron party from power at the Centre but they have no clue how to move forward for achieving this goal.
The BJP's ascendency to power coincided with the dramatic increase in its tally in UP from 10 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha election to 71 in 2014 and 62 in 2019. The Samajwadi Party, the main opposition party in UP, tried different alliances in the 2017 UP Assembly polls, 2019 Lok Sabha election and 2022 UP Assembly polls, but all ended in a disaster.
The SP in the 2017 UP Assembly polls allied with the Congress, but the BJP won the election with two-thirds majority. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the SP formed a grand alliance with its arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal and fought the 2022 assembly polls in alliance with the RLD and some other parties, but failed to dent the BJP's electoral supremacy in the state.
On Tuesday, when Nitish Kumar announced quitting the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal to form the government in Bihar, SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav welcomed the decision.
"This is a good beginning today, the day when the slogan of 'Bharat chhodo' (Quit India) was given against the British. If the slogan of ‘BJP bhagao’ (drive away the BJP) is coming from Bihar, I feel that in other states also, parties will stand up against the BJP and so will the people," he had said.
But his party has not expressed any intent to work for a similar realignment in its home state. Samajwadi Party's chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the SP was capable of defeating the BJP and it would not enter into an alliance with the BSP led by Mayawati.
"The SP will fight elections on its own," Chaudhary said.
Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar said, "If Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati want the welfare of Dalits and Backwards then they will have to come together. If this is not done then BJP will win all 80 seats in UP in the Lok Sabha election."
Rajbhar had allied with the BJP in the 2017 UP Assembly polls and was an ally of the SP in 2022 UP Assembly polls and has since parted company with the Samajwadi Party.
"The change in Bihar has taught the opposition to unite and its echo is being heard in Haryana," Rajbhar said, adding that if the opposition parties, including SP and BSP, fight together, the BJP can be wiped out. He also voiced support for Nitish Kumar as the opposition's face in the 2024 general election.
Senior Congress leader PL Punia said, “If the opposition parties can unite against the BJP in Bihar, why not in Uttar Pradesh.” He, however, stressed that he had no information of any move being made in this direction so far.