Will the Congress’s failure to strike an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) hurt the grand old party’s prospects in Madhya Pradesh? It’s a question that most political pundits are likely to have in mind.
Going by conventional wisdom, the BSP’s 6.3% vote share and four Assembly seats in the 2013 elections would be expected to translate into a sizeable dip in Dalit votes for the Congress in the Chambal belt and the Satna-Rewa region, where the BSP has had a fair following.
The two regions in the north and north-east of the State yielded two seats each to the Congress in the 2013 election.
With the BSP coming second in 12 of the 230 constituencies in that election, some observers contended that an alliance would have helped consolidate the crucial Dalit vote in these pockets and taken a Congress-led combine past the BJP in quite a few seats.
However, Congress leaders said the BSP’s demand for 50 seats was considered unreasonable with the party seen to be punching far above its weight.