Lucknow: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday entered into an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab for state assembly elections in 2022. The BSP’s national general secretary, Satish Chandra Mishra, and Sukhbir Badal of Akali Dal issued a joint statement in this regard.
While making the announcement, Mishra said that of the 117 assembly seats, Akali Dal will contest on 97, while his party will contest on 20 seats. He said that BSP chief Mayawati will herself campaign across the state to ensure victory of alliance candidates.
Soon after the BSP-SAD alliance announcement, Mayawati tweeted that Punjab is reeling under corruption, poverty and unemployment under the Congress regime. The alliance will put an end to the state’s woes, she said.
The BSP founder, late Kanshi Ram, hailed from Punjab and won the 1996 Lok Sabha elections from Hoshiarpur. Besides Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra, BSP also has a base of workers in Punjab. The party had earlier won a few seats in the state assembly.
The BSP, in fact, is not new to an alliance with the SAD. The two parties were together 25 years ago. However, the BSP has been contesting elections in the state on its own for many years now.
Recently, the decades-old alliance between the Akali Dal and the BJP broke up on the issue of farmers’ protest over agriculture bills. The two parties then separately contested the local bodies’ election earlier this year and suffered a humiliating defeat. To counter the ruling Congress, both the SAD and the BSP had been looking for a partner till they decided to re-stitch their alliance.
According to BSP leaders, the party will soon announce the name of probable candidates for its 20 seats. They said the party plans to adopt a UP-like strategy of appointing assembly seat-wise coordinators in Punjab as well. It also plans to start a series of workers’ conventions in all the districts, which will be addressed by Mayawati herself.