Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Friday admitted that an alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh will pose a challenge to the saffron party during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“If the BSP and SP contest in alliance, it would be a challenge to us,” he told IANS at an event in New Delhi to mark the four-years of BJP’s rule at the Centre. “But we are sure that we will win [against Congress] either one seat: Amethi or Rae Bareli.”
Both the regional parties have repeatedly claimed that the BJP is anti-Dalit. In April, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had said that his outfit will ally with rival Bahujan Samaj Party against the Bharatiya Janata Party for the 2019 General Elections. “It is obvious that we have to come together,” Yadav said in an interview. “Based on our conversation, both our parties will together fight elections in 2019”.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had earlier accused the BJP of trying to create problems between her and the Samajwadi Party.
The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party had tied up for bye-polls held in Uttar Pradesh in March, which the Samajwadi Party had won with the help of its alliance partner. One of the bye-polls was held in Gorakhpur, the bastion of Chief Minister Adityanath. Adityanath had held the seat for five consecutive terms prior to the electoral upset.
Amit Shah added that the BJP did not want to give up its alliance with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. “In 2019, the BJP will fight with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra,” he said. “We don’t want to oust them from the NDA. But if they go out, it is their will. We are ready for every situation.”
In January, the Shiv Sena had said it will contest the 2019 Assembly elections as well as the Lok Sabha polls alone, not in alliance with the BJP. The party had passed a resolution to this effect at its national executive meet. In October, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had called the BJP the “principal enemy” of his party and said the Sena was part of the Maharashtra government “just for the sake of it”.
Dismissing the strength of Opposition unity shown in Karnataka, Shah claimed that the opposition parties were aligning with like-minded outfits as they were afraid that they would not be able to defeat the National Democratic Alliance in 2019. “They all fought against us in 2014 too but failed to stop us,” Shah said. “They all have their presence in their respective states. Even if they come together they won’t be able to defeat us.”
The BJP will win at least 80 new seats in 2019, he claimed. “We will win such seats that were not with us – in the North East, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and many other places,” he said.