28 July, 2021

Dye Is Caste

The conflict between Congress-BSP in Uttar Pradesh.

Illustration by Manjul
Dye Is Caste

Until a few days ago, the Congress and the BSP appeared as two parties working, if not really amicably, then with a rough-and-ready understanding to defeat the ruling BJP. Despite not being under the SP-BSP-RLD alliance umbrella, the Congress decided not to contest from seven seats, including Mayawati’s constituency, whereas the alliance did not field candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Gandhi family’s pocket boroughs.

However, the faultlines kept getting exposed intermittently all through the campaign. Priyanka Gandhi’s decision to visit Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, the Congress fielding strong candidates on several seats where the BSP was contesting while giving the SP a virtual walkover, and Maya­wati’s constant attacks on the Congress in her rallies—she referred to the Congress and the BJP as two sides of the same coin—have exposed the fissures in the Opposition.

The equation between the two became more fraught after the BSP candidate in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna broke ranks and joined the Congress....

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