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SP-BSP alliance will get maths right: Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav said the BJP had strengthened because it joined hands with regional parties, and that his party was also gaining strength by forming a coalition.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Jan 12, 2019 00:10 IST
Pankaj Jaiswal
Pankaj Jaiswal
Hindustan Times, Kannauj/Lucknow
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a public meeting at Kannauj
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav addresses a public meeting at Kannauj(PTI Photo)
         

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav all but announced an alliance with one-time arch-rival Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the Lok Sabha polls on Friday, saying the coalition will get “the math right” and defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A formal announcement is expected at a press conference by Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow on Saturday. “As of now, the alliance is only between two parties. The role of any other party will be decided later,” Akhilesh said in an event organised by Twitter in Kannauj.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the BJP had strengthened because it joined hands with regional parties, and that his party was also gaining strength by forming a coalition.

“Our [BSP and SP] coming together has not only created fear in the BJP but also in the Congress,” Yadav said.“We will leave two seats [Rae Bareli and Amethi] for the Congress but won’t say anything more on Congress — if it will be on board or not,” he added. Rae Bareli is the constituency of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Amethi of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

When Yadav was questioned about his party’s topsy-turvy history with the BSP, Yadav said, “I have full faith in Mayawati ji.” The alliance has been in the works since March last year, when the two parties came together to defeat the BJP in its pocket boroughs of Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

“We experimented with it in three Lok Sabha by-elections and one state assembly bypoll. The BJP lost all the four seats and we won all,” Yadav said.

The SP-BSP alliance can be a formidable opposition to the BJP, which won 71 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Two other seats went to its ally Apna Dal. The SP won five, the Congress two, and the BSP none.

“The alliance may prove to be a game changer, damaging the BJP’s prospects in Uttar Pradesh,” said political analyst Badri Narayan.

The Congress said it would be a mistake to underestimate the party in UP. “Nobody should underestimate the Congress with its reach, presence and support base in Uttar Pradesh. Congress is an established party in the state,” said senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

State health minister Sidharth Nath Singh said the alliance would make no difference to the BJP . “The BJP is rather thinking why the alliance did not happen soon after 2017 assembly elections. Those who are weak are coming together for their own survival,” said Singh.

BSP leaders refused to comment . Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief and rebel SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav said any alliance formed to defeat the BJP should have other like-minded parties in it instead of having only two parties. “Alliance should not be show of only two-parties,” he said .

First Published: Jan 12, 2019 00:10 IST

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