BSP snubs Mahan Dal’s request for alliance in UP

Lucknow, March 17 (IANS) Supremely confident of its own performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has snubbed the Mahan Dal that offered to support the BSP without any conditions.

Mahan Dal president Keshav Dev Maurya claimed that he has met senior BSP leaders, including Akash Anand and BSP Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Sidhartha, in Lucknow and is ready to field three candidates on BSP symbol if the party agrees to their support.

He also said that his party would campaign in support of BSP candidates not just in Uttar Pradesh, but also in other states like Madhya Pradesh, having the vote share of Maurya, Shakya, Saini communities among others, if the arrangement worked.

However, BSP state president Vishwanath Pal, on Sunday, refuted Maurya’s claims on support from Mahan Dal and said, “I am not aware of any such talks.”

A senior BSP functionary said that the party president had not even accepted Keshav Dev Maurya’s request for a meeting. “This clearly shows that the party is in no mood or any alliance,” he said.

Formed in 2008, the Mahan Dal claims an influence among voters from Maurya, Shakya, Kushwaha as well as Saini communities, from parts in central and western Uttar Pradesh especially in the regions like Etah, Bareli, Agra, Firozabad, Moradabad, Sambhal, etc.

According to sources, the Mahan Dal is eyeing three seats — Etah, Agra or Farrukhabad.

Mahan Dal had contested 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the Congress, which had given them seats to contest on their symbol. The party failed to win any seat.

However, the two parties did not come together after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In the 2022 state Assembly elections, Mahan Dal became an alliance partner with the Samajwadi Party. But after the polls it snapped ties with the SP and offered support to BSP.

It again entered into an alliance with the SP during the Madhya Pradesh elections last year and claimed to have contested three seats in the state on the SP symbol.

Asked about his frequently changing alliance partners, Maurya said that they were unable to develop a relationship with Congress.

“We could never develop a relationship with Congress after 2014. We have a soft corner for Samajwadi Party, but it started giving importance to leaders like Swami Prasad Maurya and there were indications that SP does not need our support,” he said.

Maurya said his community, comprising Maurya, Shakya, Kushwaha, feel closer to the ideologies of BSP, which are believers of Lord Buddha and Ambedkar.

“Our community, especially Maurya, Shakya, Kushwaha, feels more inclined towards BSP ideologically,” said Maurya.



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