SP, BSP alliance not for 2019, only for Lok Sabha bypolls: Maywati aide SC Mishra
Lok Sabha by-elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur will be held on March 11.Updated: Mar 07, 2018 18:11 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
A senior leader of Mayawati-led said on Wednesday the party’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party was only for the Lok Sabha by-elections being held in Gorakhpur and Phulpur on March 11.
The Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats were vacated by chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively. The seats have been lying vacant since September, when Adityanath and Maurya were elected to the Uttar Pradesh legislative council.
“The SP-BSP alliance is not for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections but to ensure the BJP’s (Bhartiya Janata Party’s) defeat in the bypolls. There is no alliance for the Rajya Sabha election as well. We hope that SP and Congress will support our candidate,” Bahujan Samaj Party’s national general secretary SC Mishra said.
“Though BSP has 19 MLAs, we are confident of our victory. Congress, SP and RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal) will not vote for BJP candidate and BSP will be their natural choice,” he added.
Reacting to chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement that the alliance between the SP and BSP was unethical, Mishra said the BJP had formed the government with the support of the leaders who deserted BSP.
“One-fifth of the ministers in the BJP government are erstwhile members of the BSP. When we announced support to the SP candidate in Lok Sabha bypolls, the CM got anxious,” he said.
Mishra said the candidatures of Mayawati and Anand Kumar for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections were a mere speculation by the media when asked why the BSP fielded a political non-entity Bhimrao Ambedkar instead of the party chief or her brother Kumar.
“Mayawati not only resigned from the Rajya Sabha but also rejected the offer of RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to send her to the Upper House from Bihar,” he said.
The elections will be held on March 23 to replace the 58 Rajya Sabha members, who are set to retire later this year.
The bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur have become a prestige issue for the BJP, which won both the seats with a huge margin in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
With the mahants of Gorakhnath Mutt dominating politics in the region since the 1980s, Adityanath won the Gorakhpur seat five times in a row from 1998 to 2014.
The seat was earlier represented by his guru, Mahant Avaidyanath, who won in 1989, 1991 and 1996.
Experts say the alliance between the SP and BSP could set the stage for the formation of a united opposition in the run-up to the 2019 LS polls.
The Janata Dal, SP and the BSP held sway over Phulpur in the late 1980s and 1990s due to the large concentration of backward, Dalit and Muslim voters there.
The BJP, however, won the seat for the first time in 2014 with the support of the Maurya and Kurmi communities.
BSP’s RS candidate files nomination
Ambedkar, who filed nomination papers for Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, thanked Mayawati for choosing a party worker from a rural area for the Upper House seat. He said the party’s fight against saffron terrorism would continue.
Though the BSP has reached a tacit understanding with the SP and also sought support from Congress for the Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council elections, the leaders of both the parties remained conspicuous with their absence.
First Published: Mar 07, 2018 18:10 IST