Lok Sabha elections 2019: Bitter rivals for 24 years, Mayawati, Mulayam to share stage today
By allying with the BSP for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Akhilesh seems to have taken a leaf out of Mulayam’s book. In the 1993 UP assembly polls, Mulayam had allied with BSP and its then-president Kanshi Ram.Updated: Apr 19, 2019 10:59 IST
After having been bitter political rivals for 24 years, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav will be seen together on Friday when the BSP chief, along her SP and RLD counterparts Akhilesh Yadav and Ajit Singh, will seek votes for the senior Yadav at a joint rally in Mainpuri.
It will be the first time that Mulayam will share the stage with Mayawati since 1995 when the infamous guesthouse incident took place in Lucknow.
The SP patriarch, who is the joint alliance candidate in the constituency, has already reached Etawah to attend the rally.
He landed at the Saifai airstrip on Thursday evening and told reporters at his Etawah home: “It will be a historic day tomorrow.”
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When asked about the rally, Mulayam said: “Ask those who are organising it. I have to address it. It will be a historic day. Big leaders of several parties are coming.”
Mayawati, Akhilesh, and Ajit Singh will reach Mainpuri by air on Friday afternoon.
“I assure you that I will bring Netaji (Mulayam) along for the April 19 rally. Today, he did not come,” Akhilesh Yadav had told the waiting crowd when Mulayam, instead of going to his public meeting venue, opted to go to his village home straight after filing his nomination at the collectorate on April 1.
The stage at the Christian College Ground in Mainpuri is set for the big event.
The three party chiefs will also speak at a joint rally in Bareilly the same day.
By allying with the BSP for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Akhilesh seems to have taken a leaf out of Mulayam’s book. In the 1993 UP assembly polls, Mulayam had allied with BSP and its then-president Kanshi Ram. They succeeded in stopping the BJP from coming to power and Mulayam became the chief minister. Mayawati was a senior BSP leader at the time.
However, BSP withdrew support to Mulayam in less than two years, leading to the infamous guesthouse incident on June 2, 1995. That day, several SP leaders and workers had attacked the guesthouse where Mayawati, the then BSP general secretary, was present with party MLAs. On June 3, 1995 she became the chief minister for the first time with the BJP’s support.
Before the 1993 tie-up, Mulayam played a prime role in Kanshiram contesting the 1991 Lok Sabha elections from Etawah and winning the seat. And it was at Basrehar in Etawah here that the historic meeting between Mulayam and Kanshiram took place, said senior Etawah-based journalist Subhash Tripathi, who was witness to the political developments.
“Guess, there will be more crowds at the April 19 rally because of the curiosity factor,” said a voter requesting anonymity.
Asked if Mulayam will attend the joint rally, a party spokesperson said, “A candidate always attends a rally organised in his or her support.”
Samajwadi Party state spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said, “SP president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP president Mayawati, and RLD president Ajit Singh will share the stage twice on Friday, first at a common rally in support SP candidates Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri) and Kunwar Devendra Singh (Etah); and the second rally will be in Bareilly in support of BSP’s Aonla candidate Ruchi Veera.
The BJP has never won the Mainpuri seat. Mulayam first won the seat in 1996 and then again in 2004, 2009, and 2014 general elections. The SP also bagged the seat in the 1998 and 1999 Lok Sabha polls and in the 2004 and 2014 bypolls. Mulayam had vacated the seat in 2004 and retained Sambhal. In 2014, he vacated the seat again and retained Azamgarh. The SP patriarch secured a 56% vote share in 2009 and 60% vote share in 2014 on the seat. The Congress has not fielded a candidate against Mulayam.
A week before the declaration of his candidature for Mainpuri, Mulayam had expressed displeasure over Akhilesh’s tie-up with Mayawati for the polls. He had said that because of the tie-up, the party would only be able to contest on half the seats. But earlier in April last year, he had praised Akhilesh for the poll pact with the BSP but criticised the SP and Congress tie-up for the 2017 assembly polls.
First Published: Apr 19, 2019 02:17 IST