‘No idea’: Akhilesh on Mayawati’s hint at exiting alliance with SP
The Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Monday he is not aware of BSP president Mayawati’s statement hinting about not continuing the alliance with his party.
Mayawati had taken leaders of the SP by surprise after she told her party’s office bearers earlier on Monday to prepare to fight the assembly by-polls to the 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh on their own. The Bahujan Samaj Party had joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav’s party to fight the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election to stop the BJP but failed to make any mark.
The Bharatiya Janata Party won 62 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats, the BSP ten up from zero in 2014 while the SP had a tally of five and lost a number of Yadav family pocket boroughs, including Kannauj, where Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple lost by around 12,000 votes.
When reporters sought his reaction on Mayawati’s hint, Akhilesh said, “I have no idea about it.”
Asked if he would devise a plan after holding a meeting with party workers and reviewing the causes of defeat, the SP chief said he was in Azamgarh to thank the people for their support. Akhilesh Yadav was elected to the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh.
“Nothing is left to learn. Now, we have to focus on groundwork,” he said when asked if he learned anything new in this election.
He also said, “Humein ye hunar seekhne ki zaroorat hai ki jab bhi TV khole, to TV par ham dikhen. Jis din ye karna jaan jayenge, (sare) chunav jeet jayenge. (We need to equip ourselves with the skill that whenever the TV is turned on, we appear on it. The day we will learn this skill, we will win all elections).”
A senior BSP leader present at Monday’s meeting said that Mayawati blamed the poor show on an ongoing feud in the Yadav family between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal, who formed a separate outfit and cut into the Yadav vote bank in key seats.
“The Samajwadi Party failed to transfer its votes to BSP candidates. The Yadav community, considered the core vote base of the SP, voted for the BJP candidates on a majority of the seats, dumping the alliance candidate,” the leader quoted Mayawati as saying.
The BSP chief could not even save “family seats”, he also quoted his party’s chief as saying. There was, however, no official statement from the party.
The leader cited above said that the BSP chief did not directly talk about the future of the alliance and appeared to favour a “wait and watch” approach.