Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Saturday announced that their parties would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reported. The two addressed a joint press conference in Lucknow.
“We have decided to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together, this will lead to a new political revolution in the country,” she said. “For the national interest and for the betterment of the nation, we are again coming together.” At the joint press conference on Saturday, Mayawati also said they had decided to exclude the Congress from the alliance.
Mayawati said people have great expectations from the alliance. “We represent the poor, farmers, youth, unemployed, women, Dalit, backwards, Muslims and other minorities.”
“Be it the BJP or the Congress, whoever rules, their policies are mostly the same,” she said. “For example, we are seeing how both indulged in corruption in defence deals. Congress imposed declared emergency, today there is undeclared emergency.”
Mayawati confirmed that both parties would contest from 38 constituencies each and leave two seats for the Congress. Amethi and Rae Bareli are held by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi. The alliance left the remaining two seats for smaller allies. Other details related to the tie-up would be announced later, she added.
Yadav alleged that the BJP government in the state had divided Uttar Pradesh along communal lines. “To defeat the arrogance of the BJP, it was necessary for the BSP and the SP to come together,” he said. “The BJP can go to any extent to create differences in our workers, we must be united and counter any such tactic.”
Yadav on Friday had all but announced the tie-up with Mayawati’s party, but did not mention whether they would include the Congress. The Congress had responded sharply, saying that ignoring them in Uttar Pradesh would be a “dangerous mistake”.
Yadav and Mayawati have been each others’ fiercest rivals in the past. They had met in Delhi last week, reportedly to discuss their alliance.
The Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party had tied up for the byepolls in two Uttar Pradesh seats held last February, and had won. The wins were significant as the seats, Gorakhpur and Phulpur, were vacated by the current chief minister and his deputy – Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya. Akhilesh Yadav had then said he was grateful for Mayawati’s support.
Uttar Pradesh has the most Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the country. The state has 80 representatives in the Lok Sabha, and 403 in its Assembly.