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Intelligent Positioning

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According to reports, the SP and BSP have tied up in Uttarakhand, also, for the Lok Sabha election. The BSP will contest four seats, while the SP gets one. At the same time, BSP Supremo Mayawati has refused to join the opposition alliance in Bihar and is likely to go it alone. This clearly indicates that, among all the opposition parties ranged against the BJP, hers is the only one approaching the future in line with its ideology. At many places and in many ways, parties presently in the opposition are also anti-Dalit in their functioning and practice politics that is regressive in terms of social justice. As such, she is not against individual parties but the social order that prevents Dalits from obtaining equal opportunities in realising their aspirations.
Mayawati also does not want political polarisation in the country which will lead to the rise of just two fronts, because that will involve pre-poll apportioning of seats, as is happening at the present. Over time, this would mean Dalits getting a share less than their actual political importance and, rarely if ever, being in the leadership stakes. This also impacts upon the results, as happened in the case of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when the BSP ended up with zero seats in UP.
If the BSP can leverage its crucial votebank in a way that ensures voters select candidates and parties on the basis of personal preferences than merely being merely herded into corrals constructed against the BJP, it stands to benefit in more ways than one. If enough seats are won, it has many post-election options. These include negotiating for higher leadership positions in non-BJP fronts by threatening to ally with a BJP within reach of a majority. Having kept every party at arm’s length, it will not face any allegation of having betrayed anybody.
The big question, however, is how long the friendship with the SP will last. If the two parties manage to completely eliminate the Congress from UP, it has a future. In fact, there is no guarantee that SP and BSP caste votes will go the Congress way even in Amethi and Rai Bareli. In Uttarakhand, too, the exclusion of the Congress from the pre-poll arrangement will cause severe damage to that party, as the vote base is quite similar. It would seem they want a Congress-mukt Bharat as much as Amit Shah of the BJP!