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Panelists feel that parties are coming together for self-interest

SP’s Akhilesh Yadav met BSP chief Mayawati to wish her on her birthday, signalling the two parties’ strengthening resolve to together fight the BJP in the coming elections. Parties are looking for alliances and common ground to oust the BJP in the coming elections. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant posed the questions to panelists including the Congress’s Akram Quadri, SP’s Abbas Ali Zaidi, BJP’s Dinesh Singh, political analyst BD Naqvi and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Zaidi said: “Mayawati is a senior leader, and Akhilesh Yadav respects that. This alliance is created for and by the aam janta, it is an alliance of of similar thinking parties.”

Naqvi said: “Akhilesh Yadav has expressed the desire to have a joint alliance. SP is trying to encash the votes of the Ambedkarites.”

Anant wanted to know if Akhilesh Yadav is bending too much to have an alliance with the BSP.

Naqvi said: “Akhilesh Yadav is young and wants to position himself well. Mayawati wants to be seen as a national leader. Both parties need to improve their performance which is why they are looking at common ground for action.”

Why is RJD’s Tejashwi looking at Mayawati? Quadri said: “Tejashwi or other parties cannot ignore the Congress.”

Singh said: “Mayawati is a national leader, and I wish her on her birthday. But she is only looking at self-interest. What good of dalits happened when Mayawati was CM? In UP and Bihar, it has always been a caste based election; this broke in 2014, and all voted for Modi. In 2018, BJP won in backward class pockets. This is a grand alliance due to compulsions. Parties are not putting Modi in PM’s chair; people have put Modi in PM’s chair.”

Raju said: “This time the grand alliance is due to self-interest. SP has only one alternative which is to tie up with the BSP. BSP lost LS polls and Vidhan Sabha too, even though it is known as a national party. Therefore, BSP too has no other alternative. They can get together as a non-Congress, non-BJP platform. Mayawati certainly sees herself as a leader worthy of the PM’s chair.”

Zaidi said: “2019 is a big challenge for SP. I disagree with Raju. The grand alliance is to make sure real change happens. BSP and SP leaders want to work unitedly in UP. SP leaders will all agree with what Akhilesh Yadav says. “ Zaidi avoided saying if Mayawati will be the prime ministerial candidate.

Quadri said: “We have to get good seats for an alliance.“

Naqvi said: “Whether Akhilesh or Mayawati, they all are looking at the PM’s seat. OBC vote will be decisive for them.”

Singh said: “No need to talk of Muslim or Hindu votebank. BJP has shown itself to be strong in backward class pockets.  It is parties like the BSP and others that are losing sleep over the coming polls, not the BJP.”

Raju said: “Parties need to know the ground reality.”

Singh said: “Our party has left caste politics. We even talked of triple talaq. Mayawati should learn from her past alliances of convenience.”

Naqvi said: “There are four blocks in UP viz the SC, non-Yadav, OBC high caste and minorities. Minorities want secular politics. Non-Yadav OBC votes will be decisive in UP.”

Singh said: “It is not opportunism but real strength that will emerge as winner eventually.”

Raju said: “Tejashwi Yadav’s statements of late indicate some sort of dissatisfaction with the Congress.”

Compiled by- Niti Singh Bhandari

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