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Mayawati wants grand alliance to take on BJP in 2019, not averse to Congress joining it

The BSP chief says the SP and the BSP did not join hands for vested interests but to provide relief to the people from the anti-people policies of the BJP-led NDA government.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2018 23:22 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Mayawati,Samajwadi Party,BSP
BSP supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference at her residence in Lucknow on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati on Monday called for a grand alliance of the Opposition to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“The BSP-SP alliance has made the BJP panicky. Its leaders are making baseless statements against the leaders of the alliance. Our candidate lost the Rajya Sabha election as the BJP resorted to the misuse of government machinery and money power,” Mayawati said addressing a meeting of BSP leaders.

She said the SP and the BSP did not join hands for vested interests but to provide relief to the people from the anti-people policies of the BJP-led NDA government.

“Unemployment has increased due to the policies of the NDA government. Leaders of the BSP and the SP will expose the anti-people policies. People from all parts of the country have welcomed our alliance,” she said.

Asking party leaders to begin preparations for the Lok Sabha election, Mayawati said they should stay united as the BJP would try to create confusion and break the alliance.

A BSP leader familiar with developments said the BSP-SP leaders would hold joint rallies to let their supporters know about the alliance. “Joint rallies of BSP president Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav will be organised in various districts,” he said.

Mayawati said instead of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha bypolls, the BSP would focus on the 2019 elections. Another BSP leader said Mayawati had started screening candidates for 2019. “In view of the alliance with the SP, candidates will be finalised after coalition partners decide the seat-sharing formula. During the meeting, Mayawati also indicated that she was not averse to the Congress joining the alliance,” he said.

“In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BSP was a runner-up in 34 constituencies but failed to win a single seat. The party may field its candidates on these seats and leave the remaining 46 for alliance partners,” he added.

The leader said the BSP might also bargain on six seats where it was in a neck-and-neck fight with the SP in 2014.

“The success of the alliance in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls has heightened the possibility of an elaborate tie-up...” he said.

In a departure from its stand of not allying with any party, the BSP recently backed the SP candidates in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-elections earlier this month.

This was for the first time since 1996 that the BSP entered an alliance with any party. After its alliance partner Congress failed to transfer its votes to the BSP in the 1996 assembly elections, Mayawati had announced that BSP would contest on its own.

First Published: Mar 26, 2018 18:40 IST