Parties in UP, Bihar divided over joining `Bharat bandh` call
Political contradictions and electoral compulsions appear to have forced some parties to stay away from the opposition`s call for `Bharat bandh` on July 5 against fuel price hike.
New Delhi: Political contradictions and
electoral compulsions appear to have forced some parties to
stay away from the opposition`s call for `Bharat bandh` on
July 5 against fuel price hike in at least two crucial states
of the Hindi belt --Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
In UP, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party has not joined the
bandh so far. In Bihar it is the opposite as the main
opposition parties --RJD and LJP-- have decided to stay away
from the bandh precisely because they do not want to seen on
the same page with the ruling NDA in the state, which is
supporting the band call.
Sources in the opposition camp, who are coordinating the
protest programme, said that the possibility of participation
of BSP is unlikely because it would not like to be seen
working in tandem with the Samajwadi Party.
In Bihar, RJD-LJP is also not enthused to the idea of
joining hands with BJP and JDU "even for the bandh" as
elections are approaching in the state and they won`t like to
be seen together just months prior to the polls.
"We are not joining this bandh call. We cannot go along
with BJP. We have already declared a separate bandh programme
in the state on July 10," LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan said.
"How can we go with BJP and JD(U) in Bihar? We have our
stakes there. That is not the case with the Left in Bihar," he
shot back when asked why his party and RJD are staying away
from the bandh even when the Left had no problem in calling
for `Bharat bandh` on the same day.
Paswan also held the NDA government in the state equally
responsible for the price rise saying, "both the Congress led
government at the Centre and the on-Congress government of the
state are responsible for price spiral."
He claimed that there was no dearth of food grains but
its prices are rising due to hoarding and black marketing.
"It is the responsibility of both to control prices,"
RJD had helped the UPA defeat the opposition`s cut
motions by staging a walk out from Lok Sabha then. Both RJD
and BSP are supporting the Union government from outside.
While SP is also supporting the government from outside,
it has decided to join the opposition sponsored `Bharat bandh`
apparently due to the political dynamics of Uttar Pradesh,
where a revived Congress is striving to come to power in the
Ajit Singh`s RLD has also not revealed its cards so far
but the party has been supportive of the Congress in Rajya
Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh last month, paving the way
for the victory of former Union Minister Satish Sharma, a
known loyalist of the Gandhi family.
There had also been speculation that the party was trying
to strike a deal with the Congress ahead of the UP assembly