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Akhilesh , Mayawati in constant touch to discuss SP-BSP alliance ahead of 2019 elections

SP state spokesperson says Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati often speak on the phone but can’t confim if the two met in Delhi recently.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2018 13:56 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Akhilesh Yadav,Mayawati,SP-BSP alliance
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav along with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati during the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumarswamy as the 24th chief minister of Karnataka at Vidhan Soudha in Bengaluru, on May 23, 2018.(Arijit Sen/HT File Photo)

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, once bitter rivals, are in constant touch to discuss the nitty-gritty of an alliance to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

“The two are regularly in touch and often talk over the phone. And there is no big deal if the two even meet, especially after the success of the pact in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls in March and the subsequent win in the Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly bypolls with more partners. I, however, have no idea if the two met in Delhi before Akhilesh went on a vacation,” said SP state spokesperson and former Uttar Pradesh minister Rajendra Chaudhary on Wednesday.

Chaudhary was reacting to reports of an unconfirmed meeting between Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in Delhi on June 20 before Akhilesh flew off to London for a family vacation. The reports sparked fresh speculation about an alliance, about which both parties talk about but is yet to be declared formally.

“I am not aware of the said Delhi meeting. But, if the meeting has happened, then it should not surprise anyone who knows that Akhilesh and Behenji talk to each other on a regular basis on political issues ,” said a senior SP leader.

Akhilesh and Mayawati met on May 31 evening in Lucknow after an alliance of the SP, BSP, Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance, with support from other parties, won the Kairana and Noorpur bypolls. Mayawati had sent a car to escort Akhilesh’s motorcade to her Lucknow residence.

Even since the alliance talks began, there has also been speculation about its potential problems. Mayawati has frequently said that she would look for a “respectable” seat-sharing formula. Akhilesh, meanwhile, said he is “ready for making bigger sacrifices for the sake of the alliance”.

Chaudhary said the task before Akhilesh was big. “Though he is not a prime ministerial contender in his own words, he wants a new prime minister who is not from a communal party after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Obviously, there will be challenges ahead,” he said.

“Those who are casting aspersions on the alliance are the ones who do not want it to succeed. It’s natural for BJP to be wary of it and it’s also natural for them to try to spoil it,” said another SP leader close to Akhilesh.

He said that in days to come, there would be more meetings between Akhilesh and Mayawati and other leaders of the two parties. And sooner or later, the alliance will be announced formally, he added.

Akhilesh is due to return from vacation on July 3.

First Published: Jun 27, 2018 20:16 IST