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Small parties in UP flaunt 'decisive' vote bank to stay relevant in polls

Small parties are hankering for political space and claiming that their dedicated vote bank could be the decisive difference between winning and losing

Press Trust of India  |  Lucknow 

Lok Sabha elections 2019
File photo of voters standing in a queue at a polling station

With a triangular contest on the cards in between the BJP, the and the SP-BSP-RLD, small parties are striving to stay relevant in the battle of by claiming that in tight contests their would be "decisive".

The Party, Apna Dal(S), (SBSP), and the are busy preparing their strategies for the Lok Sabha polls in where a possibility of a triangular contest involving the BJP has opened up after the was kept out of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party- Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance.

With ready to battle it out in the Lok Sabha polls against each other in the electorally crucial state of UP, the small parties are hankering for political space and claiming that their could be the decisive difference between winning and losing.

Sanjay Nishad, the of the (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) party, said his outfit is part of the SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance and has been promised two seats from SP's quota.

"On one seat the candidate will be ours and the symbol will be of the SP and on the other the symbol will be ours and the candidate theirs. will contest from Gorakhpur and defeat the BJP like he did in the bye election," Nishad told

"Our base vote is the vote of fishermen. Our party's vote will be the decisive winning vote for the alliance," he asserted.

Another small party, (Sonelal), whose leader is a in the NDA government, on Friday finalised a seat-sharing agreement with the and will contest on two Lok Sabha seats in

"On about 12-15 seats directly and overall on 30 seats, our traditional Kurmi vote is the deciding factor. So even though in the alliance we have got only two seats, we will transfer votes on many other seats," (S) told

The BJP had benefited massively in eastern UP in 2014 due to (S) transferring the Kurmi vote in the general elections, he claimed.

"In the election, wherever there is a tight contest, the chunk of vote we bring to the table will be decisive and crucial," Sharma asserted, adding the Kurmi vote is there in all parts of the state and will help the BJP in a big way.

Another BJP ally, the SBSP, whose is also a in the Yogi government, is still weighing its options and has its doors open for a tie-up with the BJP, the and the grand alliance.

"Our party has an influence on almost 50 seats," SBSP claimed.

Asked if his party will go with the BJP, he said, "It depends on the BJP. Can't say until we get any assurance on the seat sharing.We have already conveyed that we want five seats."

The Congress, the SP-BSP-RLD alliance, and the BJP know that "our would be decisive" on a number of seats, Rajbhar said.

With the poll dynamics changing, the also finds itself mulling over its options. The party, who till a few months ago had said it was firmly part of the SP-BSP grand alliance, is now looking at various possibilities.

"Both the Congress and the SP-BSP-RLD combine have to decide whether they want to go with us or not. They seem to be wasting our time, but we are ready for the polls," said.

"We contested on about 50 out of the 80 seats last time and would contest at least 50 seats this time as well if we fight on our own," he said.

Sanjay K Pandey, professor, (JNU), and a political commentator, said the contest will be very keen with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra entering the political arena.

Her presence will enthuse the traditional Congress voters and therefore make the contest triangular and keener than before, he said.

"In such a scenario, the of the small parties is going to be very important," he said.

The BSP had made it clear on Tuesday that it would not have any electoral tie-up with the Congress in any state for the polls, ending all speculation over the possibility of an alliance with the grand old party in UP.

The Congress has already declared 35 candidates in the state till now and aligned with smaller parties -- and Apna Dal (faction)

The SP and the BSP had forged an alliance on 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per the deal, the SP will contest 37 Lok Sabha seats in UP and the BSP 38, leaving three for the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal and two for (Rae Bareli) and

The seven-phase Lok Sabha begin on April 11.

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 12:25 IST