Maya, Akhilesh announce to fight 38 seats each in UP in LS polls
Burying the over-two-decade-long hatchet, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Saturday announced a mega alliance in Uttar Pradesh, delivering the first opposition front to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha election due by May. Both parties will contest 38 seats each and they have left two seats out of 80 for smaller allies.
That times have changed was evident from the missing photos of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati’s mentor Kanshiram from the hoarding behind the dais at the venue of the joint SP-BSP press conference. The announcement of the alliance comes ahead of Mayawati’s birthday on January 15. On that day, Mayawati and Akhilesh are expected to share the stage to give out a message of unity among their respective cadres. Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, wife of Akhilesh Yadav, too shares her birthday with Mayawati.
“This press conference will give ‘guru and chela’ (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah) sleepless nights. We will contest the 2019 elections in alliance. This will be a new political revolution. We have buried the hatchet and decided to come together. We have decided to prioritise national interest, putting behind the incident — the state Guest House incident of June 2, 1995 — so that the BJP is not able to form a Government this time,” Mayawati said in the joint press conference she addressed along with Akhilesh Yadav here on Saturday.
Mayawati said even as there was no alliance with the Congress, both the parties had decided not to field candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, respectively.
“I have full confidence that just as our alliance defeated the BJP in the Lok Sabha bypolls, we will crush the saffron party in the general elections,” Mayawati said, referring to the BJP’s defeat in the Phulpur, Gorakhpur and Kairana Lok Sabha bypolls in 2018.
On whether it was a “natural alliance”, Mayawati said, “Yeh lamba chaleyga, aagey bhi chaleyga, Lok Sabha chunav ke baad, UP Assembly mein bhi yeh sthayee chalega (This will last long, even beyond LS polls and in UP Assembly elections).
Mayawati said that the SP-BSP alliance was not limited to Lok Sabha polls but would continue for UP polls and other elections as well. “This alliance will also continue during the 2022 UP Qssembly elections and media need not be bothered about the longevity of the alliance,” she said.
While Mayawati openly criticised THE Congress, a dignified Akhilesh did not say a word against it. This also leaves room for the post-poll alliance of SP-BSP combine with the United Progressive Alliance if needed.
“Now, our party has decided not to forge an alliance with the Congress anywhere in the country. Looking at our past experience, when it comes to SP and BSP, our votes get consolidated successfully. And that is why we have decided to tie-up with SP. We believe that we will dethrone the BJP at the Centre, provided that the BJP does not go for tampering with EVMs like before. The seat share has also been finalised between SP and BSP,” Mayawati said.
“Our prior experience with the Congress has not been good. Our votes get transferred to other parties but not of the Congress. In such a scenario, Congress gains from us but our own (vote) percentage dips. In the last 2017 UP Assembly elections, even Samajwadi Party lost due to its alliance with the Congress,” the BS chief said.
“Why we didn’t take Congress in alliance? Let me tell you, post-Independence, the Congress was at Centre and in many States. Even then corruption, poverty were rampant. The Congress and the BJP at Centre are two sides of the same coin. Both the parties have made bungling in defence deals during their tenures. The Congress lost due to Bofors, the BJP will lose because of Rafale,” she said.
Sunday, 13 January 2019 | PNS | Lucknow—
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