The suspense over the fate of the Uttar Pradesh gathbandhan ended on Tuesday when BSP chief Mayawati made it official that her party will contest all the 11 Assembly seats in the coming bypolls in the State. However, Mayawati on Wednesday kept the room for future alliance with the SP, advising SP chief Akhilesh to set his “house” in order for that.
Unfazed by Mayawati’s volte face, Akhilesh said his party is ready to fight the bypolls on its own.
Reacting to announcement by the BSP supremo, Akhilesh on Wednesday said, “If the coalition has broken, I will reflect deeply on it and if the coalition is not there in the by-elections, then Samajwadi Party will prepare for the elections. The SP will also fight on all 11 seats alone.”
“We will contest bypoll on all 11 seats after consulting party leaders soon. Even if our paths are different, we welcome it,” Akhilesh said.
Mayawati’s decision to go it alone in the bypolls is not just surprising for the SP leaders but also for the BSP cadre as the BSP never fought any bypolls in the past. The former UP Chief Minister said if the SP does not learn from the mistakes it made in the Lok Sabha election, both parties will eventually contest independently in the future also.
She said SP chief Akhilesh Yadav needs to set his party in order and weed out those who were responsible for failing to get their supporters’ vote en bloc during the Lok Sabha elections. “It’s not a permanent break up. If we feel in future that the SP chief succeeds in his political work, we’ll again work together. But if he doesn’t succeed, it’ll be good for us to work separately. So we have decided to fight the by-election alone,” Mayawati said to a news agency in New Delhi.
Claiming that the BSP has not benefited from the alliance with the SP in the recently concluded elections, she said the transfer of votes between the two parties did not take place. She even claimed that the SP could not even manage to maintain its hold on Yadav seats as well as the constituencies on which Akhilesh’s family members were contesting.
“We can’t ignore political compulsions. In the Lok Sabha elections, base vote of Samajwadi Party, the ‘Yadav’ community, didn’t support the party. Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav have lost elections from Kannauj, Badaun and Firozabad respectively, and it has made us think a lot,” she added.
Stating that she has personal ties with Akhilesh and Dimple, Mayawati said they gave her a lot of respect. “Ever since the SP-BSP coalition took place, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav have given me a lot of respect. I also forgot all our differences in the interest of the nation and gave them respect. Our relation isn’t only for politics, it’ll continue forever,” she said.
The SP chief added that for the party the killing of its workers is more important than the ‘gathbandhan’, referring to SP leaders who were shot dead in Uttar Pradesh on June 1. Akhilesh Yadav was in Ghazipur on Tuesday where the SP leader was shot dead soon after the Lok Sabha elections.
The BSP had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on 38 seats of Uttar Pradesh in a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal. The Samajwadi Party contested on 37 seats while RLD contested on three seats; two seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli were left for Congress. However, even after the strategic alliance which was considered as a mega road block for the BJP, the BSP managed to win only 10 seats while the Samajwadi Party bagged just five seats.
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