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SP may offer Paswan Firozabad seat
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, June 3
The third partner of the so-called Fourth Front trio - the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) - may not remain outside Lok Sabha for long. SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav is believed to be keen to consolidate the front by offering LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan the Firozabad seat.

A bypoll is due in Firozabad after newly appointed SP state president Akhilesh Yadav has decided to retain his Kannauj seat after winning the 15th Lok Sabha election from both Kannauj, his traditional seat, and Firozabad that he chose after the delimitation exercise made Kannauj a little risky.

According to party insiders, the move is in accordance to the long-term interest of the party. After Muslims virtually dumping the SP after it decided to join hands with former BJP leader Kalyan Singh, the party has no choice but to survive on the consolidation of the OBC, most backward and Dalit votes.

With this game plan in mind, the SP may offer the Firozabad seat to Paswan, who has suffered a humiliating defeat from Haijpur, while his party failed to open its account. Remaining in political oblivion for five years may completely wipe him out.

The Fourth Front, which made its dramatic appearance during the run up to the 15th Lok Sabha elections, had resulted in Paswan withdrawing all candidates from Uttar Pradesh, joint campaigning in UP, Bihar and elsewhere and even the SP, RJD and the LJS declaring to contest assembly elections in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand together.

For the SP it would is killing two birds with one stone. Bailing Paswan out would not just consolidate the OBC-Dalit vote but would cause much heartburn to Mulayam Singh Yadav’s bete noir Chief Minister Mayawati who wants to see herself as the undisputed leader of the Dalits.

Paswan belongs to the Passi community, who are in largest numbers in the state after Mayawati’s Jatav community. During the Lok Sabha election they have reportedly moved to the Congress along with other Dalit sub-castes.

With the presence of a strong Passi leader, it is likely that in the days ahead they may turn to the Fourth Front alliance further eroding Mayawati’s Dalit base, hope SP leaders.



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