LUCKNOW : Putting back their bitter rivalry which went on for nearly quarter of a century, the two main political parties of Uttar Pradesh – Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) — have again joined hands ahead of mid-2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Much junior to her in political experience, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati, on Saturday announced their mega partnership. Both the leaders have served as UP chief ministers in the past. Akhilesh Yadav’s government was ousted by the BJP in U.P. in 2017.
It is the first opposition alliance formed in the most populous State of the country which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The alliance has been shaped to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the general elections which are scheduled to be held by May. BJP had won 71 of the 80 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Ms Mayawati assumed a senior role in the joint press conference and announced that both the BSP and SP will contest 38 seats each of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats while two each would be left for the Congress and other regional party, probably Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) led by Ajit Singh. “This is a pavitra ( holy) alliance to create social brotherhood in the society and to counter the fascist and communal forces,” she said. Ms Mayawati appeared sure about the success of the mahagathbandan but had a rider, saying that if the BJP does not tamper with the voting machines and does not create communal frenzy over the Ram temple issue, then no one would be able to defeat SP-BSP alliance in UP. In her nearly half-an-hour address, Ms Mayawati said she had forgotten the Guest House incident of June 5,1995, when SP activists made an attempt on her life in Lucknow.
” Bigger things have emerged now and we have shed our old issue of guest house incident when there was a need to unite to remove the BJP, which has become more dangerous for the country and the people,” she said.
” We are once again trying to revive our old friendship like we had done in 1993 when our founder Kanshi Ram and SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav joined hands to get rid of the BJP post-Babri Masjid demolition,” she said.
The BSP supremo said the alliance will usher a new era of politics and remove the castiest and communal forces like BJP. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, prefered not to make any statement against the Congress, but Mayawati quipped that BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin. Last year, SP and BSP had teamed up for important by-polls that were crucial for the ruling BJP. After smelling success in three seats, including Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur, the two parties explored taking their alliance to the 2019 general elections.
In his first reaction, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said “some alliances are being formed to defeat PM Narendra Modi as he is running a corruption-free government”.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the SP-BSP alliance for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking on the alliance, Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav said, “The beginning of BJP’s downfall in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have started.”
Sudhanshu Trivedi of BJP said both parties are contesting together just to save their political ground. “These parties have blamed each other of murder in the past. Anyway, its their choice. We are confident. Even if all parties come together, we will still win,’’ he said.