Updated January 15th, 2024 at 13:32 IST
INDI Faultline Deepens, Mayawati Decides Solo Run In Lok Sabha 2024, TMC Not Buzzing
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo to go solo in Lok Sabha Elections 2024
Lok Sabha Elections 2024: In a fresh jolt to the INDI alliance, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo on Monday announced to go solo in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. "I want to clarify that our party (BSP) will go solo in the upcoming (2024) Lok Sabha polls. With the backing of people from backward communities, Dalits, tribals and Muslims, we formed a full majority government in UP in 2007, and that's why we have decided to contest the Lok Sabha polls alone. We will maintain a distance from those who are casteist and believe in communalism, and we will not join any alliance," said the BSP chief while addressing a press conference on the occasion of her birthday.
Mayawati's statement comes as a big jolt to the INDI alliance, a group of opposition parties, including the Congress. For the unversed, several parties have come together to take on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and prevent it from winning a third straight term at the Centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, Mayawati also refuted the claims that she may take a retirement from politics, saying that she will continue to work to strengthen her party. "Last month, I declared Akash Anand as my political successor following which it was being speculated in media that I may soon retire from politics. However, I want to clarify that it's not the case, and I will continue to work towards strengthening the party," she said.
The BSP chief exhorted party leaders and workers to "work with full strength to help the BSP get a favourable verdict" in the 2024 election.
The BSP, a Scheduled Castes-centric party, was a major political force in Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s and 2000s but witnessed a gradual decline over the past decade. In the 2022 assembly elections, the party polled only 12.8 per cent votes, its lowest in almost three decades.
TMC vs Congress
Earlier, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee had taken a swipe at the Congress, exposing the cold relations between the two parties. Banerjee had mocked the Congress’s demand for Lok Sabha seats in Bengal (as part of an alliance with the Trinamool) over the party's humiliating defeat in Assam's North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council elections.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Banerjee said "One might say their (Congress) seat share aspirations in Bengal are akin to aiming for the stars when they couldn't quite grasp the ground in their own backyard!"
Besides, West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had also attacked TMC supremo and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying that the latter was "busy serving" Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Chowdhury had also claimed that Mamata did not want an alliance with the Congress and asserted that the grand old party could contest elections on its own in the Lok Sabha polls 2024.
"We did not ask for alms. Mamata Banerjee herself said she wanted an alliance. We do not need Mamata Banerjee's mercy. We can contest elections on our own. Mamata Banerjee actually doesn't want an alliance as she is busy serving PM Modi," he told reporters.
For the unversed, Mamata Banerjee had declined to meet the five-member Congress committee for discussions on seat-sharing ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, Mamata had proposed "two seats" to the Congress, but the offer was promptly rejected by Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
INDI Alliance Seat-Sharing Rift
The opposition INDIA bloc faced a challenge when the TMC indicated its reluctance to engage with the Congress committee responsible for seat adjustments within the alliance. The Congress committee, comprising Ashok Gehlot, Bhupesh Baghel, Mukul Wasnik, Salman Khurshid, and Mohan Prakash, has already conducted seat-sharing talks with various parties in the INDIA alliance, including the Samajwadi Party (SP), Shiv Sena (UBT), Sharad Pawar faction of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar. However, the meetings remained inconclusive.
Published January 15th, 2024 at 12:03 IST