NAGPUR: The Congress party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have started initial deliberations on inviting Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to join their alliance before the Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls scheduled next year. If the BSP joins the alliance, the Congress and NCP will have to give few seats each but they will gain votes of the backward classes.
Of the 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, the Congress and the NCP will have to give two-three seats to BSP along with the RPI. In the 2014 general election, the BSP had performed well and proved that it has good foothold in scheduled castes-dominated Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
Soon after the getting hint of such deliberations, the State unit of BSP has decided to claim the Ramtek Lok Sabha seat, which has dominance of scheduled castes people. Congress and Shiv Sena have lost their grounds in Ramtek while BJP has no strong candidate in the constituency. In all, BSP is likely to claim four Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra, including Ramtek, Amravati and Wardha.
For State Assembly polls, the BSP is expected to stake claim on at least a dozen seats, including North Nagpur, Hinganghat, Yavatmal, Devli (Wardha), Dhamangaon Railway (Amravati), Achalpur, South Nagpur, Sakoli, Warora and Jalna.
The BSP had performed well in the last elections but the equations are not looking similar now. BSP has its own vote bank but the party doesn’t have candidates, who could stand the elections that are getting costlier day by day. The party could have opened its account in Maharashtra had it not failed in poaching candidates from other parties nor its leaders engaged in last-minute deals with stronger candidates.
The RPI is also facing crisis with its dozens of factions in the State, thus creating an opportunity for the BSP in Maharashtra.
The BSP has reportedly got into action keeping in view the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The party is keeping watch on strong and known candidates from other parties. As per party sources from Mumbai, the party was seriously thinking of fielding Shriram Sena chief from Ramtek Lok Sabha seat.
As per reports, MLAs from both Congress and BJP had visited the Shriram Sena chief on his birthday on July 5 during the monsoon session of State Assembly in Nagpur. Though, BJP has misused powers in the last three and half years to minimize the influence of the Shriram Sena chief.