It seems Samajwadi Party supremo may once again display his ability of doing an u-turn, he is well known for in the national politics.
According to a report in DNA, it is very likely that SP is all set to put up "dummy" candidates on 50 seats in Bihar assembly elections which would eventually help BJP which is currently facing a tough challenge from the grand alliance of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar with the Congress.
A series of incidents in the run up to the Swabhiman rally in Bihar's Gandhi Maidan held on 30 August had hinted that not all was well in the Janata paradise. On 28 August, the SP supremo, in a surprise move went to meet the Prime Minister in the national capital. While, reports suggested that the meeting was about UP Governor Ram Naik indulging in politics and blocking major administrative decisions, Bihar elections too could have been a major subject of discussion during the 45-minute meet.
Then SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav too had a meeting with Amit Shah on 31 August.
Simultaneously, there emerged reports of Mulayam not attending the "maha-gathbandhan" rally in Patna, giving Nitish Kumar cold feet. The rally was aimed at targeting Narendra Modi on his DNA remark and also displaying the combined strength that the BJP would have to face in the poll bound state.
Mulayam had put in a lot of work in bringing together the Janta Dal United and Rashtriya Janta Dal alliance against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar but his party wasn't given any seats to contest. The reportedly miffed the Janata patriarch resulting in his decision to skip the rally.
With SP now planning to contest on 50 seats, it could be a major jolt to Nitish's maha-gatbandhan that was declared amid much fanfare earlier this month.
It is expected that the SP parliamentary board would take a final decision on the number of seats it would contest on 3 October.
Here are other instances when SP ended up benefiting BJP in other state elections
- In the last Bihar elections the SP had contested 146 of the total 240 seats. Though it hadn't won any seat, it did affect the anti-BJP vote which resulted in non-BJP parties losing seats.
- SP had used the same strategy in other state elections too. In Gujarat it contested 67, in Maharashtra 22 and in Madhya Pradesh 164 seats. It didn't win a single seat in these states but it eventually helped the BJP candidates scrape through to victory at several places.