Mayawati ends alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s SP for good, tweets her parting shot
Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati, who had left open the possibility of fighting the state elections in alliance with Samajwadi Party, on Monday firmly shut the door on Akhilesh Yadav’s party. In a string of tweets, Mayawati announced that the BSP would fight all elections on its own.
The two regional powerhouses buried years of acrimony to come together last year and forged what was considered a formidable caste coalition to take on the BJP in the general elections. But it failed to stop the BJP, which won 62 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats. Mayawati said the Samajwadi Party’s conduct after the general elections had forced her to review if the alliance would be able to defeat the BJP.
“Therefore, in the interest of the party and the movement, now BSP will contest all future elections, big and small, on its own,” she said in a string of tweets that also defended the decision to ally with SP.
“Samajwadi Party had taken several anti-dalit measures during its tenure in 2012-17 in Uttar Pradesh, but the BSP decided to join hands with SP in the interest of the nation. The state government under SP was anti-Dalit, created problems in reservation in promotions and there was deterioration of law and order situation in the state. BSP upheld the coalition norms in national interest,” Mayawati tweeted.
Mayawati’s tweets come a day after her party’s 150-minute late night meeting where she presented her analysis of the BSP performance. The BSP, which had contested the election in alliance with the SP and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal, won 10 seats. The SP won just 5 seats.
The first sign that the alliance’s humiliating defeat had sealed its fate had come just 10 days after the election results had come in. Mayawati, who had announced her decision to go solo for the bypolls to 11 Uttar Pradesh assembly seats, however, insisted that their breakup wasn’t permanent and they could be back together if Akhilesh Yadav got his act together.
An indication of the BSP chief hardening her stance against Akhilesh Yadav had come at her party’s meeting last evening where she appeared to blame the SP for the outcome in the national elections and faulted its leadership’s conduct after the results were out.
The SP-BSP alliance was widely perceived to be a major threat to the BJP. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the combined vote share of the two parties was 42% that compared well with the NDA’s 43.3%. If the two parties had been able to retain its 2014 vote share, analysts believed the two parties would have been able to restrict the BJP’s tally to under 40 of the state’s 80 seats.
But Narendra Modi’s chemistry prevailed over the BSP-SP alliance’s arithmetic and the BJP lost only nine seats compared to its 2014 tally, largely because it was able to increase its vote share by 7.2 percentage points.
Mayawati’s BSP was the only beneficiary of the alliance; it was able to increase its seat tally from zero to 10 between 2014 and 2019.