Ex-BJP MP Phule may join rival coalition

first_imgAfter quitting the BJP, Savitribai Phule, the Member of Parliament from Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh, has triggered speculation that she could join the Samajwadi Party and emerge as the joint candidate of the anti-BJP alliance in 2019.Ms. Phule called on SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Saturday. Talking to The Hindu on Monday, Ms. Phule did not rule out joining any party in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, saying she “will go to any extent” to stop Mr. Narendra Modi from coming to power again.“I have not yet joined the SP,” the MP said.“To protect the Constitution, to implement reservation in its complete form, and provide the bahujan samaj (OBC-Dalit-tribals) their rights, I will go to any extent,” Ms. Phule said.She said she would support the “mahagathbandhan”, a possible alliance of the SP-BSP-RLD, to defeat the BJP and “prevent Mr. Modi from becoming Prime Minister again in 2019 at any cost.”‘Constitution at risk’Ms. Phule, who belongs to the Dalit community, said she would meet leaders of the Opposition leaders and rally them against the BJP. She claimed the BJP would change the Constitution if it returned to power again.There are rumours that she could join either the SP or the BSP and be fielded from Bahraich as the joint candidate in 2019. Sources, however, said BSP chief Mayawati was not too keen to give her a ticket or induct her into the party.In 2014, Ms. Phule defeated her nearest rival, the SP’s Shabbir Ahmed by 95,645 votes, to clinch the Bahraich Lok Sabha seat, located near the India-Nepal border. It was on on December 6 that Ms. Phule resigned from the BJP accusing it of dividing society on communal lines and plotting to finish the Constitution and provisions of reservation.last_img