Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Monday said her party would not contest the upcoming bye-polls for the Kairana and Noorpur seats. Her statement indicates that the Samajwadi Party, who won the Gorakhpur and Phulpur bye-elections in alliance with the BSP, would have to go it alone.

The Bahujan Samaj Party said it would not deploy its cadres to work for any bye-poll. “The Lok Sabha polls of 2019 are approaching and so we want to concentrate on that,” NDTV quoted Mayawati as saying. “In any Lok Sabha bye-poll or otherwise in the interim, we will not ask our workers to leave everything and work for the bye-polls for anyone else.”

Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh said Kairana is “just a bye-poll”. “Mayawatiji has clearly said the tie-up is intact and the next big election for all of us is the Lok Sabha 2019 poll,” she told NDTV.

Mayawati had reiterated her party’s close ties with one-time rival Samajwadi Party three days after the Rajya Sabha elections earlier this month. She had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of resorting to malpractice to ensure the victory of its candidates.

On March 25, Mayawati had expressed her displeasure over Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s decision to make actor and politician Jaya Bachchan his party’s candidate for the only Rajya Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh it was contesting. The Bahujan Samaj Party chief said Yadav should have made “every sacrifice” to ensure that her party’s candidate, Bhim Rao Ambedkar won in the Rajya Sabha election.