Out of the 230 constituencies, 34 fall in the Chambal-Gwalior region which has high concentration of Scheduled Caste (SC) voters. SCs form the core of BSP’s supporters. This could hurt the Congress’ chances, especially in this region. (Image: PTI)
Blaming the split within the Chautala family for "weakening" the alliance, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Saturday snapped its nearly nine-month-old association with Haryana's main opposition the INLD and forged ties with the LSP, an outfit floated by rebel BJP MP Raj Kumar Saini.
The development came three days after Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala had claimed that the alliance was intact.
The party had suffered a humiliating defeat in the Jind Assembly bypoll, with its candidate Umed Singh Redhu forfeiting his security deposit and was reduced to fifth position.
On the other hand, the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) which came into existence following INLD split, put up a spirited fight and its candidate Digvijay Singh Chautala secured second position as the BJP won the seat.
The BSP's Haryana in-charge Meghraj on Saturday said, "On the directions of BSP national president Mayawati, the party ends ties with the INLD as the alliance is getting weakened because of the Chautala family split."
"The BSP has forged a new and strong alliance with the Loktantra Suraksha Party (LSP)," he said, adding the decision to snap ties with the INLD was taken by Mayawati after considering the demand of the people of Haryana.
INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala refused to make a direct comment on the BSP's move.
He said, "We gave more respect to the BSP leaders and workers than ours. Answers to why they broke the alliance and why they separated can only be given by the BSP leaders."
JJP convener and Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala in Ambala said, "To those who used to raise question about our existence and say that this organisation (JJP) cannot work, the people of Jind have shown them that if any alternative exists in the state that is the JJP."
Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala too lashed out at both the BSP and LSP, saying any alliance which is based on "opportunism and for gaining power" can never be successful.
The BSP and LSP, under the new alliance, will jointly contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls and the Haryana Assembly elections, due later this year.
According to the arrangements finalised by both the parties, the BSP will field candidates in eight Lok Sabha seats while the LSP will nominate candidates in the other two seats in the state, said Meghraj who was flanked by Raj Kumar Saini.
For the Haryana Assembly polls, the LSP has been given 55 seats to contest while the BSP will field its candidates on 35 assembly constituencies the in 90-member Haryana Vidhan Sabha.
Replying to questions from the media, Meghraj said, "Our leader Mayawati gave them a chance to stay united. When we entered into an alliance, the INLD was one party. But after the Chautala family split, we got a chance to judge them in Jind bypoll and found that if the family fight polls separately then anti-people forces will again come to the fore."
"Out of the around 3,400 votes polled to INLD candidate (in the Jind bypoll), Umed Singh Redhu managed just 1,000 votes and rest of them were BSP votes. Thereafter, we decided to rethink on the alliance. Our votebank was disturbed," he claimed.
In the same breath, the BSP leader, however, said the alliance with the INLD was good and there was no complaint against it.
"But the objective of removing the BJP from the power was not going to be achieved with this alliance."
Asked about the chief ministerial candidate of the new alliance, Meghraj said it will be announced after the Assembly polls. Both parties have decided to hold workers' rally in Panipat on February 17.
Following a family feud within the Chautala clan, Ajay Chautala and his two sons Dushyant and Digvijay had floated the JJP last year.
Saini, a rebel BJP MP from Kurukshetra had last year floated his 'Loktantra Suraksha Party' and the candidate fielded by him in the Jind bypolls had put up a better performance than INLD's Redhu.
INLD and the BSP had entered into an alliance in April last year, which both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress had described a "marriage of convenience" which they entered into just to "grab power" in the state.