Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:00:03 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Caste rivals ally to defeat ruling party in northern India

photo by AP photo

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav (right) greets Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati on her birthday in Lucknow, India.

By
08th-Apr-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AP, Lucknow :
Political archrivals in India's most populous state rallied together Sunday, asking voters to support a new alliance created with the express purpose of defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
The low caste-dominated Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, which holds sway among a section of so-called "backward" castes and Muslims, have decided to contest elections in vote-rich Uttar Pradesh state in a rainbow coalition headed by BSP President Mayawati.
"This election will expose BJP because the prime minister has failed to fulfill the promises" he made to lower castes, the poor and the unemployed during the last election, Mayawati, who uses only one name, said during an election rally in Saharanpur city on Sunday.
"His report card is very poor. He helped the rich to earn more riches during his five years of rule and when he realized that he has failed to deliver he used the Pulwama incident to get votes," she said, referring to a Feb. 14 suicide bomb attack against an Indian paramilitary convoy in disputed Kashmir that killed 40 soldiers and brought rivals India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
The rally was filled with party workers carrying flags and shouting slogans. They were also carrying pictures of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, the head of the Samajwadi Party.
Mayawati promised reserved quotas of government jobs for the poor and so-called backward and lower castes, while urging Muslims to vote for alliance candidates "because we are true saviors of the minority community."
"Believe me, BJP is on its way out and the alliance will be part of the next government," Mayawati said.
The alliance could pose a real challenge to the BJP in the five weeks of polling that begin this week, experts say.
"Even though caste discrimination has been officially banned in India, caste continues to be the driving force as it shapes the way people vote during elections," said Giri Institute of Development Studies researcher Nomita P. Kumar.
In Uttar Pradesh, lower-caste people comprise 22% of the population, "backward" people are 45%, and 19% are Muslims. The remaining 14% are upper caste.
"Arithmetically, the alliance between Mayawati and Akhilesh seems very potent. They have numbers under their belt and if voters vote as per these parties, the alliance will sweep Uttar Pradesh," Kumar said.
Out of 80 seats up for grabs in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, Mayawati's BSP will contest 38 while SP will contest 37 seats. Another regional party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal, will contest three seats. The alliance has decided not to field candidates against leaders of the main opposition Congress party, whose president, Rahul Gandhi, is running from the city of Amethi. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, the widow of assassinated Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is standing from Rae Bareli.
Like elsewhere in India, Modi and the BJP swept parliamentary elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, winning about 43% of the votes and 71 out of 80 seats.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu monk-turned-BJP politician, was quick to dismiss the alliance as an "unnatural" attempt to undercut "Modi magic."
"This is Modi magic which has forced two bitter enemies to join hands. This alliance is unnatural. It will not stand the trial of election. Politics is not arithmetic all the time. It requires chemistry too," he told The Associated Press in Lucknow.
The coming together of rivals isn't without precedent.
The BSP and SP stitched an alliance for provincial elections in 1993, when the BJP was gaining ground after right-wing Hindu rioters demolished a mosque in the city of Ayodhya, fanning the flames of Hindu nationalism. That time, the architects of the alliance were Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav's father, and Kanshi Ram, Mayawati's political mentor.
Together, the parties triumphed.
The alliance, though, did not last long, abruptly ending in 1995 when Mayawati said "goons" from the Samajwadi Party attempted to kill her in an attack at a guesthouse.
Mayawati's alleged assault turned the two parties into bitter enemies, a chasm that reached down into Uttar Pradesh villages where SP and BSP workers frequently clashed.
However, more than two decades later, the parties have decided to bury the hatchet.
"People are upset with the anti-people policies of the Modi government. We have come together to stop Modi's forward march," Mayawati said at a joint news conference in March with Yadav.
Yadav said that Uttar Pradesh's Muslim voters would "catapult" the alliance to power. Anti-Muslim sentiment in India, which is 80% Hindu, has become more violent since the BJP came to power in 2014. Three dozen Muslims have been lynched by mobs on suspicion of illegally transferring cows, sacred to Hindus, or beef, according to Human Rights Watch.
Mayawati, a former state chief minister, nurtures a dream to become India's first prime minister of lower-caste Dalit heritage. But her ambition could be a liability for the Uttar Pradesh alliance in these elections, said S.P. Pandey of the Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Studies in Rural Development.
"The caste alliances are very fragile as these are linked with egos. Mayawati is a known alliance breaker," he said.
"She had entered into alliance with BJP three times and had even asked for votes for Narendra Modi in a provincial election and once fought election as an ally with Congress," Pandey said. "She has used alliances for her ascent because of the jigsaw puzzle nature of Indian politics."

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Business & Economy »

MBL's award giving ceremony held


Economic Reporter :Mercantile Bank Ltd on Monday organised the 'Mercantile Bank Sommanona-2019' to award four eminent personalities and one institution for their outstanding contributions to the society. Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir handed over the gold medals, crests and cheques to all the awardees at a graceful ceremony at Hotel ...

Entertainment »

Maera Mishra is excited about her upcoming projects!


Maera Mishra is an Indian actor and model. She is as in the 11th season of MTV Splitsvilla. Ever since she featured in Splitsvilla Maera has not looked back. Maera is also a budding actor and she could be seen in love on the run on MTV, Savdhan India, Fear ...

Entertainment »

Soundarya Sharma yet again strikes a humanitarian chord


It was just recently when she instead of attending an event chose to help an injured cyclist. Now we just learned that Actor Soundarya Sharma is sponsoring health care for an elderly couple for a year, she came across an article about how elderly are lacking proper health care, as ...

International »

Trump heads back to base for 2020 campaign kickoff


President Donald Trump will get a big crowd of his most loyal supporters at Tuesday's official 2020 reelection campaign kickoff in Florida but dismal early poll numbers show the larger-than-life Republican businessman is vulnerable.Organizers claim the Orlando rally has sold out a 20,000-seat arena, with many more to gather outside, ...

International »

China warns US against opening ME 'Pandora's box'


AFP, Beijing :China on Tuesday warned against opening a "Pandora's box" in the Middle East after the United States announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the region amid escalating tensions with Iran.Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged Tehran to not abandon the nuclear agreement "so easily" after Iran ...

Cricket »

Shakib Al Hasan: A man born to create milestone


Talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan now won two matches for Bangladesh in this World Cup, all by alone. When most of his teammates looked inconsistent, he did it by his own almost, albeit with little support from two different men in two different games.In Bangladesh's 21-run victory over South Africa, ...

Editorial »

No development projects destroying the Sundarbans


TRANSPARENCY International Bangladesh has called upon the government to immediately suspend all controversial projects, including the Rampal Power Plant near the Sundarbans. TIB also expressed deep concern following the UNESCO's recent proposal to put the Sundarbans on the list of "World Heritage in Danger" in the proposed agenda for its ...

Cricket »

Jason Roy to miss Afghanistan, Sri Lanka games with hamstring tear


England opening batsman Jason Roy, who left the field during the team's eight-wicket win over West Indies, has been ruled out of their next two matches, against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, an England and Wales Cricket Board release announced on Monday, 17 June.Roy had left the field during the West ...

International »

"Khashoggi death painful, stop exploiting case": Saudi Crown Prince


 AFP, Riyadh :Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has warned against "exploiting" the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for political gains, in what appeared to be a veiled attack on Turkey.Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia have come under strain since the brutal murder last October of Khashoggi in the Saudi ...

Editorial »

No end to pain and miseries of slum dwellers


LOCAL Government Division Minister on Sunday informed the National Parliament that about 6.46 lakh people were living in 3,394 slums in the capital city Dhaka. Responding to a question from a lawmaker, he said there were 1,639 slums housing 4,99,011 people in the Dhaka North City Corporation area and 1,755 ...

Entertainment »

Taylor Swift releases new single You Need To Calm Down


Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift needs us to calm down but with the release of her latest single we just can’t! The 29-year-old singer dropped her new single titled You Need To Calm Down from her upcoming studio album Lover. The artist shared the lyrical video of the song on her official ...

Cricket »

No fracture found on Mushfiqur's forearm


Bangladesh heaved a huge sigh of relief after an X-ray report revealed that Mushfiqur Rahim had no fracture on his forearm.Mushfiqur, considered as the most dependable batsman of the country, got hit on his right forearm during a batting practice session while facing a bouncer from pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman.He ...

International »

Saudi Crown Prince lashes out at arch-rival Iran over tanker attacks


AFP, Riyadh :Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused arch-rival Iran of attacks on oil tankers in a vital Gulf shipping channel, adding he "won't hesitate" to tackle any threats to the kingdom, according to an interview published on Sunday.Two tankers were struck by explosions on Thursday in the Gulf ...

Cricket »

More than just a game: India face Pakistan in World Cup battle royale


Virat Kohli will have history on his side when India take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a World Cup blockbuster on Sunday -- a clash that is always more than just a game of cricket.India cut off bilateral cricket ties with its neighbour after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, with authorities ...

Cricket »

Eoin Morgan downplays England's injury concerns


England captain Eoin Morgan said that his team is "not at panic stations", after he and Jason Roy left the field with discomfort during the game against West Indies in Southampton on Friday, 14 June.Both Roy and Morgan had left the field at different points during West Indies' innings and ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news