UP: Bhim Army inches closer to SP-RLD alliance

Lucknow, Feb 28 (IANS) The ongoing farmers’ agitation and the changing political scenario in western Uttar Pradesh are now throwing up new political combinations, ahead of the 2022 Assembly election.
The Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance in the region is likely to be joined by the emerging Bhim Army’s political wing – Azad Samaj Party.
According to highly placed sources, channels of communication have been opened between Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar.
“The two leaders have spoken to each other thrice and if all goes well, west UP may see a SP-RLD-Bhim Army combine in the 2022 Assembly elections,” said a source.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP-RLD alliance was joined by Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.
Chandra Shekhar, when asked, evaded all questions about the possible alliance but said that all parties must come together to defeat the BJP which has caused irreparable damage to the state and its people, particularly weaker sections.
A senior Bhim Army functionary, meanwhile, said that in the present situation in western UP, the SP-RLD-Bhim Army alliance could prove to be a winning combination.
“The best thing is that Bhim Army and RLD are not in the race for the chief minister’s post. Alliances break only when there are more than one claimants for the top post,” he said.
Chandra Shekhar told reporters that his first priority was to contest the upcoming panchayat elections under his own banner.
“We will build up our organisation till the booth level in the panchayat elections and then decide our future course of action,” he said.
Political analysts feel that the SP-RLD-Bhim Army combine could bring Muslims, Jats and Dalits on a single platform and this could upset the BJP’s apple cart in region.
For the Samajwadi Party, this could be the much-needed shot in the arm.
Akhilesh has also been looking for a formidable ally for the Assembly polls after the BSP walked out on him last year and Bhim Army fits the bill.
The icing on the cake, meanwhile, is the sudden resurgence of the Rashtriya Lok Dal which has been catapulted to the political centre stage in western UP during the farmers’ agitation.
Any alliance which has RLD in it, is bound to start with a major advantage.

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