Bhopal : Buoyed by its success in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) wants to forge a similar political experiment in Madhya Pradesh when it goes to the polls next year.
This would involve bringing together the upper castes as well as Dalits and others under one roof to form a solid vote bank, BSP veterans in Madhya Pradesh say with confidence.
The BSP now has only two legislators in the state’s 230-seat assembly. Its attempt is to grow in a big way in Madhya Pradesh.
“The BSP will attempt to get a respectable position in the next assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh by forging an upper caste-Dalit pact,” said Gendalal Bhai, the party’s state general secretary.
The party is planning to organise a major programme in this connection but its venue and dates are yet to be finalised.
“The process of forming committees for upper castes and Muslims is under way and the reaction received from these sections is positive,” added state BSP president Bhujbal Singh Ahirwar.
He said the party could emerge as the “chupa rustam” (dark horse) in the next assembly elections, undercutting the traditional voter base of both the Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BSP’s hopes may not be totally unfounded given the rousing reception its MPs and ministers from Uttar Pradesh received in Bhopal Aug 7 when they came to attend the party’s state executive meeting.
The visitors included Uttar Pradesh MP Brijesh Pathak, Minister of Small Scale Industries Badshah Singh and Minister for Rural Engineering Rangnath Mishra as well as Parasnath Morya, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Backward Caste Commission.
While Pathak and Mishra are learnt to have been entrusted with the task of strengthening the Brahmin vote bank, Badshah Singh has been asked to woo Thakur voters.
“A number of discontented Congress, BJP and other leaders are eyeing Mayawati as a safe bet in the coming assembly elections. We are set to include them in our team,” a party leader claimed.
Hundreds of upper caste workers from different political parties joined the BSP in the party’s state executive meeting.
“I had never anticipated such a gathering. Had I known this, I would have selected a bigger venue like some stadium for the state meet,” Ahirwar said later.
BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra is learnt to be roping in supporters of suspended Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla.
Shukla, a former union minister, has considerable following in Madhya Pradesh’s Vindhya and Bundelkhand regions, mainly among Brahmin voters.