Lok Sabha elections 2019: Akhilesh calls on Mayawati to put finishing touches to UP campaign plan
A day after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati snubbed the Congress over a pre-poll alliance for the Lok Sabha election, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav held an hour-long meeting with the four-time former UP chief minister at her residence here on Wednesday to put the finishing touches to an election campaign plan as well as to resolve dispute among candidates over a few seats.
After the meeting, Akhilesh tweeted: “Ek mulaqat mahaparivartan ke liye (A meeting for change)”.
When asked, a BSP leader said the alliance leaders discussed the programme for joint rallies and workers’ meetings as there was less than a month left for the first phase of the poll
Although the alliance partners have completed the seat-allocation exercise across the state, there are differences among the BSP and SP candidates over half-a-dozen seats.
Some Samajwadi Party leaders wish to contest the seats allotted to the BSP and vice-versa. Both the leaders discussed the matter to work out an amicable solution.
Mayawati has called a meeting of the party leaders and office bearers of the party core committee on Thursday to discuss the Lok Sabha election campaign and strategy. She is likely to announce the candidates for the 38 Lok Sabha seats allotted to the BSP.
The BSP chief was also considering to contest the Lok Sabha election from Bijnor or Ambedkar Nagar and she will discuss the issue with party leaders, those familiar with the matter said.
Earlier, Mayawati had said she would have little time to campaign for herself as she would seek votes across the country as the party’s only star campaigner.
However, BSP strategists feel since the party has projected her as a prime ministerial candidate, she must contest the Lok Sabha election in order to galvanise the cadre.
Under a seat-sharing formula, the BSP has been allotted 38 seats, the SP 37 seats and the RLD three seats.
The alliance has decided not to field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the seats of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi respectively.
A senior BSP leader, who did not wished to be named said, income tax raids on the residence and offices of former IAS officer Net Ram, a close aide of Mayawati as well as Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s meeting with Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar will be discussed, he said.
Mayawati had directed the party cadre not to attend the meetings of the Bhim Army, nor to contribute fund to it. Terming Bhim Army chief an agent of rival political parties, she had said he was trying to weaken the BSP in west UP, a party leader said.
Addressing party leaders on Tuesday, Mayawati had said that some political parties were very eager for a pre-poll alliance with the BSP.
The party leadership had decided not to go for the alliances with political parties that might harm the BSP movement, she said. The BSP will not compromise on its self- respect and dignity, she said.
Terming the partnership with Samajwadi Party as perfect, she said the BSP-SP alliance was capable of defeating the BJP in the Lok Sabha election.
The BSP-SP leaders have been directed to organize joint meetings across the state. On Sunday, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had also made it clear that Congress was not joining the SP- BSP-RLD alliance.
After finalizing the candidates for the 80 seats, the alliance leaders, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and RLD chief Ajit Singh, will launch their election campaign with joint rallies in west UP, a BSP leader said.