Several BJP sitting LS MPs in touch with opposition parties in UP

Lucknow, Jan 1: With count down started on the New Year for the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, several sitting BJP MPs likely to be axed by the party were reportedly making beeline to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party for their rehabilitation in electoral politics. 

Samajwadi party sources said here on Tuesday, that close to a dozen MPs are in touch with the party and have also met the party president Akhilesh Yadav.

The same MPs are also in touch with the BSP and Congress, seeking a place, in case they were denied ticket by the BJP high command.

BJP won 71 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 with two won by its alliance partner Apna Dal. But in the bypolls they lost three– Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana and now they have 68 sitting members.

BJP leaders too from time to time had hinted that only winnable candidate would be given tickets and they have said that around 40 per cent of the sitting MPs could be denied ticket this time.

A senior SP leader said here that nothing can be said about their candidature as lot many things including the alliance with the Bahujan Samaj party and other parties and seat sharing among different partners are yet to be decided.

“It will be difficult for the SP to accommodate the ticket aspirants for the 2019 elections so nothing can be said about the party hoppers,” the leader said.

According to SP sources, the BJP MP from Domariyaganj Jagdambika pal and Allahabad MP Shyamacharan Gupta are in touch with the party. Rebel BJP MP Savitri bai Phule, who has resigned from the primary membership of the BJP, has also met the SP president Akhilesh Yadav and party’s founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. 

Jagdambika Pal is the former state Congress president of UP and was first elected to Lok Sabha in 2009 as Congress candidate. Shyama Charan Gupta is also a former Samajwadi party leader and had been elected to Lok Sabha from Banda in 2004 Lok Sabha election as SP candidate.

However, Mr Pal denied about his move to meet the SP leaders and even lodged a police complaint of rumour being spread against him on social media.

Meanwhile, amid speculations of Savitri Bai Phule joining the Samajwadi Party, a day after she met party supremo Akhilesh Yadav, the rebel BJP MP from Bahraich, has denied joining the Samajwadi party. Confirming her meeting with the SP president, she said her meeting was to discuss ways to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“The speculations about me joining Samajwadi Party are completely false. There were discussions with Akhilesh Yadav on how to defeat BJP at any cost. “We want that SP-BSP alliance to take place and BJP should be defeated. However, I am not joining Samajwadi Party,” Phule said. 

The meeting created ripples in political circles and it was speculated that Phule will be the joint candidate of SP and BSP, if an alliance between Uttar Pradesh’s two major political parties is sealed before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Akhilesh Yadav, too had admitted that he had met Phule, but denied to comment on speculations over the candidature of the rebel BJP MP in the Lok Sabha elections as a probable Mahagathbandhan candidate. 

“She had met me and told me about her problems, her issues were genuine,” Yadav had said.

Phule had resigned from the BJP last month, criticising the party for “trying to create divisions in the society”. Recently, while holding her first rally after quitting the BJP, Phule had launched a scathing attack on the saffron party, saying it should focus on marginalised sections and not on temple politics.

The Insides Speak