Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Monday claimed that Uttar Pradesh and Bihar would decide who will be in power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported.
The former Bihar deputy chief minister said the RJD would lend support to the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.
“It is not just Uttar Pradesh but the entire country where the message of alliance has gone...[now] the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will decide as to who will come to power at the Centre,” he said after meeting Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. The meeting came days after the SP and the BSP announced their tie-up. They will contest 38 seats each.
Tejashwi Yadav, who met BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday night, claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party would lose a majority of the 134 seats in the two states, along with in Jharkhand. Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats in the Lok Sabha, Bihar has 40, and Jharkhand 14.
“The BJP has around 115 seats of these seats... with alliance in these states, the BJP will lose 100 seats,” he said, adding that the Uttar Pradesh alliance will prevent the country from going into the “clutches” of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Reacting to Tejashwi Yadav’s offer of support, Akhilesh Yadav said the move would further strengthen the alliance. “From Delhi to Kolkata, people are against the BJP as all have been deceived by them,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “I can assure the BJP that we ‘samajwadis’ will not change our language even if they try.”
Tejashwi Yadav also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of cheating the people of Bihar by not delivering on his promise to give the state a special package, News18 reported.
“PM Modi had said he will give a special package to Bihar, but he has deceived the people and Bihar is yet to receive what he had promised,” he claimed. “Not a single penny has been given by the PM who had made tall promises. Why does he not give Bihar a special state status?”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday claimed the SP-BSP alliance would have no impact on politics in the state.
Tejashwi Yadav is posturing, alleges BJP
BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand claimed Tejashwi Yadav’s support was “posturing, a strong arm tactics”, PTI reported. “Tejashwi Yadav is indirectly trying to show his party’s alliance in Bihar [the Congress] that the RJD will dictate the terms in the alliance here,” Anand said. “Whatever Tejashwi Yadav’s Lucknow tour may mean for UP politics, in Bihar it is clearly indicative of the clash of egos that the Grand Alliance is witnessing.”
The BJP leader said that this clash of egos has come in the way of “finalising a seat-sharing arrangement among its too many constituents”. He was referring to reports of a fight between the Congress and the RJD over allocation of seats for the Lok Sabha elections. “We are looking at a situation where they would not be able to reach any understanding till the date of voting and end up fighting each other,” Anand added.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan also wondered why the RJD was supporting the alliance in Uttar Pradesh. “Tejashwi Yadav and his party are in dire straits so, may be, he is on an expedition to make as many political friends as possible,” Paswan said. “The SP-BSP alliance may be a strong one, but there is nothing grand about it.”
He questioned the grand alliance that the Opposition parties are trying to stitch up in Bihar. “In UP, the Congress, which was supposed to lead the so-called mahagathbandhan, has been left out,” Paswan pointed out.
The Janata Dal (United) also asked if Tejashwi Yadav was not concerned by how the Congress had been insulted.
Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra, meanwhile, tried to evade questions on the alliance, and said Tejashwi Yadav may have visited Akhilesh Yadav as they have familial relations. He later said that the party “would not like to say anything on the matter” till the Rashtriya Janata Dal puts out a statement on the matter.