THE CITIZEN BUREAU | 22 MARCH, 2019
From JD-S to BSP, Danish Ali Changes Parties With ‘Blessings’ From All
#TCVotes To contest as BSP candidate from Amroha
NEW DELHI: In the midst of the hurly burly of electioneering a fairly significant event was lost. Janata Dal (S) leader Danish Ali crossed over to join the Bahujan Samaj Party. And did so not as an act of rebellion but with the blessing of JD(S) patriarch H.D.Deve Gowda and his son Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy who tweeted his support.
Laughing about this Ali told The Citizen, “yes I know it does not happen in politics, that the leaders of the old party give their blessings to a member to join another party.” But this happened, in what is an indication of new bonhomie between the regional parties with Ali now wanting to move into Parliament, that he can only do from Uttar Pradesh to where he belongs. Instead of fighting for a seat for him the JD(S), relinquished him to the BSP that is now fielding him from Amroha in western UP.
Dainish Ali has been key in bringing about the alliance between the Congress and the JD(S) for the Karnataka Assembly elections. Soft spoken, and popular with all leaders, he rushed around mending fences as soon as these were broken, and reminding leaders on both sides about the importance of the coalition. Very close to Gowda who trusts him completely, Ali was the link between Bengaluru and Delhi and indeed between the JD-S and most of the other north Indian regional parties.
He ferried BSP leader Mayawati to and fro, arranging for her to campaign for the coalitions candidates. He is now in her first list of candidates, with Amroha with its huge Muslim and Dalit population being seen as what can come closest to a ‘safe’ seat for the coalition in UP. The BJP won the seat with 48.26 percent vote share. Ali will be contesting the sitting BJP MP Kanwar Singh Tanwar who is being fielded again by the ruling party from Amroha.
However, what gives him hope is that the combined vote share of the BSP and SP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was 48.69 percent with another 0.87 per cent of the vote share secured by the Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate. Given the polarisation in the state, Amroha will not be a cakewalk, and this is reflected in the over five lakh votes secured by Tanwar in the last polls.
Ali, however, is confident and feels that he will be able to mobilise the coalition vote to the extent necessary to win the elections. There are reports of Jat disaffection with the BJP because of sugarcane prices and the cattle menace, with hungry cows destroying farmers crops. But these were issues before Balakot, and the impact of the military action on the Jats has still be be assessed.
Of the Assembly segments, only Amroha is with the Samajwadi party with the other four with BJP MLAs.
It is not clear whether the Congress party will be contesting Amroha. It has not yet announced a candidate from this seat. Ali himself is soft on the Congress, not willing to be drawn into any criticism of the party that has emerged as a third front in UP in these crucial elections.