BSP won’t beg for seats from Congress for 2019, can contest alone: Mayawati

The Bahujan Samaj Party chief said that her party’s only requirement for an alliance was a ‘respectable’ number of seats and if this was not conceded, it would contest alone

india Updated: Oct 09, 2018 17:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
BSP alliance,Congress alliance Mayawati,2019 general elections
Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference on Sept 16.(PTI Photo)

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will not beg for a “respectable” number of seats for a pre-poll alliance with the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and will fight it alone, like the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, party chief Mayawati said Tuesday.

“If the Congress fails to offer respectable number of seats, the BSP will contest elections on its own,” she said.

Mayawati, who paid tributes to party founder Kanshi Ram on his death anniversary in a programme organised at Bahujan Prerna Kendra in New Delhi, told party cadre in a message that she would not bow to pressure tactics or conspiracies of rival political parties but continue with her effort to grab the key to power.

“The only condition BSP has put for an alliance is respectable (number of) seats. Instead of stitching the alliance, Congress leaders are following the path of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to malign the image of BSP leadership,” she alleged.

Cautioning party workers against the designs of rival parties, Mayawati said they were using all the tricks to weaken the BSP before the general elections but forgot the party’s history was full of struggles and “it will not retreat and give a befitting reply to the rivals in the Lok Sabha election”.

Calling on party cadre to start preparations for the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati said that she will launch her election campaign in Chhattisgarh by addressing a rally in Bilaspur on October 13.

Asked about Mayawati’s statement, Congress’ Uttar Pradesh president Raj Babbar said: “She is a respectable national president of a national party. She will never have to beg regarding alliance. The Congress’ national leadership respects her and the party will have talks for an alliance with her with due respect.”

A senior BSP leader, who did not wish to be named, however said the Congress leadership was repeating the same mistake that they committed in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

“Instead of offering respectable number of seats to the BSP, they are giving only a few seats. The BSP was left with no option but to ally with the Janata Congress Chattisgarh (JCC) led by former chief minister Ajit Jogi in Chattisgarh. In Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the party decided to contest on its own strength,” he said.

The leader added that only a few months were remaining in the Lok Sabha election and if Congress wanted a grand alliance in UP and in other states where the BSP enjoys considerable influence over Dalit voters, it should offer respectable seats.

Meanwhile, hundreds of BSP workers assembled at Kanshi Ram memorials in Delhi and Lucknow to pay him homage. Programmes were also organised in all the districts of Uttar Pradesh.

First Published: Oct 09, 2018 17:52 IST