Influenced by multiple defections – mostly its OBC leaders – last week, the BJP on Wednesday showed its allies – the Nishad Party and its own party (S) – before next month’s Uttar Pradesh elections, though it refused to divulge details of seat-sharing.
“We are allied with them for 403 seats (in the UP assembly),” party chief JP Nadda said.
The Apna Dal (S), representing the Eastern UP OBC community, and the Nishad Party are both old allies of the BJP in UP; Apna Dal (S) has been an ally since 2014 and Nishad Party since 2019.
“The BJP in UP is with the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) partners for the upcoming elections. We were also together for the Lok Sabha … Detailed discussions have taken place and we have allied with them for 403 seats (in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly),” BJP chief JP Nadda told reporters.
Apna Dal (S) leader Anupriya Patel, a junior Union Minister and a Lok Sabha MP, called the BJP-Apna Dal-Nishad Party alliance a “great cocktail of development and social justice”.
“We have always fought for justice for the common man. With Prime Minister Modi, we have realized that we can strengthen social justice … issues like the OBC Commission … reservation for the backward classes … so we have the support of this government. We have made this decision. The alliance will move forward in 2022, “he said.
“The backward classes are being betrayed and orphaned … There was only a small reservation in jobs but this government has helped … It has also given in educational institutions. The parties in UP are changing but the backward classes have not. It is being resolved for years, ”said Sanjay Nishad of Nishad Party.
The show of support – and comments from smaller parties about Prime Minister Modi working for the OBC community – was significant as the BJP lost about a dozen MLAs last week.
Underlining that message of unity, Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “JP has met Nadda, Yogi Adityanath and associates Anupriya Patel and Sanjay Nishad. Blessings of the people of UP with the NDA and under Prime Minister Modi, we will form a government with a huge majority.” “
In the last 72 hours, the BJP has lost 10 MLAs and three ministers, most of whom have joined the Samajwadi Party. The report found that the rate has encouraged both the Apna Dal (S) and the Nishad Party, which is why discussions on seat-sharing are likely to continue behind the scenes.
In 2017, AAP (S) was given 11 seats and won nine.
This time around, reports suggest that Ms Patel is keen for more, especially since she believes in the BJP, and even others, including Omprakash Rajavar, who did not join Akhilesh Yadav last year, did so.
His party did worse than expected from opinion polls, which saw them at gaining about a third of the seats. “We want to register as a state party,” Mr Patel said.
In 2017, the Nishad Party, fighting individually, had terrible results, contesting 72 seats but winning only one – Vijay Mishra won from Jnanpur. Mr. Nishad himself came third from Gorakhpur (rural).
This time Mr Nishad has claimed that the BJP has agreed to give him 15 seats but talks are underway on two or three more.
“We have been allotted about 15 seats while negotiations are underway for two or three more seats,” Mr Nishad was quoted as saying by ANI, adding, “… we have no problem giving seats to the BJP.”
The BJP has already announced the first list of 107 candidates for the first two rounds of voting.
The big announcement from there was that Yogi Adityanath would contest from his base Gorakhpur (urban) (his first assembly election), from where he became a five-time Lok Sabha MP.
UP voting in seven stages of voting starting from 10th February, result should be 10th March
With input from ANI