Mayawati takes a break from SP alliance, leaves door open to return later
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday said her party will contest the bypolls to 11 seats in Uttar Pradesh alone but that doesn’t mean “permanent break” on its relationship with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party. The SP-BSP alliance fared poorly in the Lok Sabha elections winning just 15 of the 80 seats in UP.
Mayawati said political compulsions cannot be ignored and Samajwadi Party’s base vote - the Yadav community -didn’t support the party in the Lok Sabha polls.
The BSP boss said her relationship with Akhilesh Yadav isn’t only for politics. “Ever since SP-BSP coalition took place, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav have given me a lot of respect. I also forgot all our differences in the interest of the nation and gave them respect. Our relation isn’t only for politics, it’ll continue forever,” she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Watch | Mayawati announces break from SP alliance, will fight alone in UP bypolls
Addressing a meeting of party leaders from Uttar Pradesh in Delhi, Mayawati directed them to start preparation for bypolls on the 11 assembly seats that had fallen vacant after the election of the sitting MLAs to Lok Sabha.
Mayawati’s indication of ending the alliance took the Samajwadi Party by surprise. SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the party leadership will meet to discuss the issue.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who is on a tour of Azamgarh to thank people for their support during polls, said he has “no idea” about Mayawati’s decision. Akhilesh Yadav was elected to the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh.
The BJP was quick to attack the opposition and said the BSP-SP alliance was an opportunistic one to begin with. “The alliance between BSP-SP-RLD was opportunistic and to serve vested political interests and to cheat the common people. It was not an alliance of ideology and principles. Akhilesh should come clear on the charges leveled by Mayawati that he failed to transfer SP votes to BSP,” BJP spokesperson Salabh Mani Tripathi said.
The BSP had joined hands with SP in the Lok Sabha polls to stop the BJP but failed to make make much damage. The BJP won 62 of the state’s 80 Lok Sabha seats, the BSP won 10, up from zero in 2014. The SP won just five seats and lost in a number of traditional Yadav strongholds, including Kannauj, where Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple lost by around 12,000 votes.