Former chief minister Mayawati on Monday said BSP will not ally with any other party, scotching speculation of a Bihar-style secular alliance for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
“I want to state it clearly that BSP will not have any alliance with any party. Neither with BJP nor Congress. Our party will contest all 403 seats and we will contest on our own strength,” Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party does not traditionally favour pre-poll tie-ups, and it is still early, but her statement would dampen Congress’ calculations of tapping into her strong Dalit vote base as part of an anti-BJP alliance.
Last month, she had also shot down chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s proposal for a ‘grand alliance’ -- meaning SP, BSP and Congress -- to repeat the successful Bihar experiment.
The BSP supremo also alleged that Samajwadi Party (SP) was spreading “false rumours” that her party will go with the BJP and claimed it was SP which had joined hands with BJP.
“Recently, there have been reports in the media that BSP is tying up with BJP in the coming UP assembly elections. This is a rumour being spread by Samajwadi Party,” she said.
“In fact SP has already joined hands with BJP. SP broke out from the grand alliance of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar in Bihar to help BJP in the recently held state elections. This is a well-coordinated effort on the part of SP to spread a canard,” she said.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP -- which is facing anti-incumbency in the state -- would like to go with the Congress but on its own terms.
Last week at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Akhilesh even suggested an impromptu formula for the 2019 general elections: “Mulayam Singh as prime minister and Rahul Gandhi as deputy prime minister.”
The Congress , which has only 28 MLAs in the 403-seat UP assembly, would however prefer to wait it out, as was decided at its recent internal meeting. The party would like to talk to Mayawati only after the momentum starts building for the state elections.
(With inputs from PTI)