BSP declares support to congress, aims to keep BJP out
Jalandhar(Kusum Arora) – In a move eying 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Punjab joined hands with Congress in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-poll to keep BJP and its allies out of power in the centre. BSP with its dedicated dalit voters has decided to support congress leader Sunil Jakhar in the Gurdaspur by-election. The by-poll was necessitated after the sudden demise of previous MP and Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna. The BSP which was completely routed in Punjab Assembly Elections 2017 and drew a blank in all the 117 seats has joined hands with congress after two-decades. It was in the year 1996 that the BSP has last contested election in a tie up with congress in the state.BSP’s Majha zone incharge Sukh Ghuman said that on the directions of the party supremo Mayawati and the state president Rashpal Singh Raju, the party has announced its support to congress in the by-poll. Ghuman met Jakhar, after which it was announced to support congress. It is pertinent to mention here that under its party policy, the BSP has not been contesting any by-poll in the state. “The party received directions from Mayawati to extend support to congress. The decision holds significance, as party supremo has resigned from the Rajya Sabha in July this year, after she was not allowed to speak on violence against dalits”, party sources said. Sources said that the BSP was alarmed over its lost appeal in the dalit strong hold of doaba, which has over 40 percent dalit voters particularly Ravidassia and Valimiki community. “By joining hands with congress, BSP is eyeing to come into the mainstream and regain voter support”, a leader said. BSP Punjab Doaba Zone incharge Balwinder Kumar said, “Our fight is against the Right wing ideology being imposed by BJP government at the centre. People were witnessing emergency like situation, as Modi government was forcibly imposing its decision in the country. Dalits and minorities were being hounded. It is high time that like minded parties join hands to keep Modi out of power in the centre. BSP’s support to congress in Gurdaspur by poll is the first step in this direction.”Even during the Assembly Elections 2017, BSP candidate from Kapurthala Dr Jaswant Singh Bhandal has withdrawn his candidature in favour of Rana Gurjeet Singh. The BSP leadership had at that time declared that the idea was to keep SAD-BJP and AAP out of power. Infact, BSP’s vote base eroded gradually in the past Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. So much so that in the 2017 assembly polls, party’s experienced leader Avtar Singh Karimpuri finished fourth in his home constituency Phillaur (reserve), hence leading to complete rout of BSP. Interestingly, the congress has been accusing the BSP of sharing secret pacts with SAD-BJP in the past two assembly elections.
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