Editorial : Fighting together: the SP-BSP-RLD alliance

The BSP, SP and RLD need to convince voters that they are on the same page
The chiefs of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal combine(मिश्रण) threw down the gauntlet(कवच) to the ruling(सत्तारूढ़) Bharatiya Janata Party in Deoband in western Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. The scale and fiery rhetoric(उग्र बयानबाजी ) were clearly aimed at forcing the momentum(गति/चाल) as western U.P. constituencies(निर्वाचन क्षेत्रों) go to the polls on April 11, in the first of a seven-phase(सात चरण ) parliamentary election in the State.
The BJP and its partners had won 73 of 80 seats in U.P. in 2014, and the State is central to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s re-election bid(बोली). The political landscape(परिदृश्य) in U.P, however, has changed significantly(काफी/महत्व के साथ) in the interim(अंतरिम ) years, both in terms of party alliances(गठबंधन) and social realignments(बोध/पुनर्निर्धारण।). Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry as a Congress strategist(रणनीतिकार) and campaigner(अभियान चलानेवाला) has added new variables(प्रभावित करने वाली वस्तुएँ)that could complicate(जटिल ) electoral calculations in U.P. In this emergent(आकस्मिक ) situation(स्थिति) in the State, the rally must have brought some reassurance(भरोसा /आश्वासन) to the triumvirate(तिकड़ी/जीत) of Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and Ajit Singh, leaders of the SP, the BSP and the RLD, respectively. Mr. Yadav has been unambiguous(स्पष्ट/पवित्र) in his deference to Ms. Mayawati, and they have been at pains to emphasise(ज़ोर देना) that they are reading from the same page, as coherence(अनुकूल होना/सामंजस्य) between the SP and BSP leaderships is crucial for vote transfer of their core supporters.
Ms. Mayawati is an icon of Dalit empowerment(सशक्तिकरण), and since the 1990s has often been deft in building social alliances around her core vote. Mr. Yadav is the inheritor(उत्तराधिकारी/वारिस_) of the rump(पिछला हिस्सा/दुम ) of Socialist (Lohiaite) politics in the Hindi belt, which has been reduced(कम हो गया) to a purely(शुद्धता से) caste-based(जाति-आधारितentity(वास्तविकता/इकाई) around the SP’s Yadav support. Both could be characterised(विशेषता/वर्णन करना) as part of social justice politics, but the accent and rhetoric of their respective politics are dissimilar(भिन्न/असमान). Their opposing(विरोधी ) positions(पदों) on the use of English is a case in point — the SP has been rather late in blunting its anti-English edge(धार/कगार) , while the BSP’s Ambedkarite politics considers( मानती है) it as a tool(उपकरण) of empowerment(सशक्तिकरण).Though the SP and the BSP had an alliance in the mid-1990s, they had parted ways bitterly(जोर से/कडुवाहट के साथ) , with an SP mob(भीड़) even trying to physically harm Ms. Mayawati. The rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 U.P. Assembly elections have forced a rethink in their adversarial(प्रतिकूल ) politics. Equally(समान रूप) striking is Mr. Yadav’s outreach to the BSP, compared to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s. Both parties are conscious(होश/सचेत) that recovering the support of their larger social constituencies, the backward castes and Dalits, which were drifting(ढेर लगाना) towards the BJP in the past five years with a new format of social empowerment through Hindutva, is crucial(महत्वपूर्ण) . However, since the Assembly elections, old caste cleavages(दरार/फाड़ना) have deepened under upper-caste Hindutva assertion(अभिकथन). By joining hands with the RLD, which has a Jat base in western U.P., and reaching out to Muslims forcefully, the two parties are seeking to draw voters with a show of winnability(जीतने की क्षमता).

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Designed By : Satnam Gill