Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said on Tuesday that her party will fight upcoming Assembly bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh alone. Her statement came a day after several reports had claimed that she was in favour of ending her party’s alliance with Samajwadi Party.

The two parties, once arch-rivals, contested the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in the state together in an effort to defeat the BJP, but they won only 15 of the 80 seats between them. The BJP won 62 seats.

“Ever since SP-BSP coalition took place, [Samajwadi Party chief] Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav have given me a lot of respect,” Mayawati said on Tuesday, according to ANI. “I also forgot all our differences in the interest of the nation and gave them respect. Our relation isn’t only for politics, it will continue forever.”

“However, we can’t ignore political compulsions. In the results of Lok Sabha elections in UP, base vote of Samajwadi Party, the Yadav community, didn’t support the party. Even strong contenders of SP were defeated,” Mayawati added.

The BSP chief added that this break in the alliance was not a permanent one. “If we feel in future that SP chief succeeds in his political work, we’ll again work together,” she said. “But if he doesn’t succeed, it’ll be good for us to work separately. So we’ve decided to fight the bye-elections alone.”

Yadav, in response, said the Samajwadi Party will also fight the bye-polls alone. “If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates on all 11 seats up for bye-polls after consulting party leaders soon,” Yadav said, according to PTI. “Even if our paths are different, we welcome it,” he said.

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  2. 2019 elections: Why did the Akhilesh Yadav-Mayawati experiment fail in Uttar Pradesh?

Hours after reports emerged that the alliance was likely to break up, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had on Monday said his party will fight for social justice along with the Bahujan Samaj Party.

“We and Bahujan Samaj Party will fight for social justice together,” Yadav said at a public meeting in his constituency Azamgarh on Monday. “It [elections] was a race between Ferrari and a cycle [Samajwadi Party’s election symbol],” Yadav added, with reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party. “Everybody knew the Ferrari will win. The Lok Sabha elections were not fought on issues, it was fought on something else.”

Earlier on Monday, Mayawati held a meeting with her party’s Uttar Pradesh unit in New Delhi, where she reportedly told her party leaders that they should not depend on the alliance to get votes. She asked party workers to work on expanding the organisation. Unidentified people who were part of the meeting had told PTI that Mayawati criticised the Samajwadi Party for failing to save its “family seats”. She also reportedly mentioned the family feud in the Samajwadi Party’s leadership.

Mayawati reportedly said that Akhilesh Yadav “couldn’t even ensure his wife Dimple Yadav’s win”. “Our votes transferred to Dimple but the Yadav votes didn’t,” Mayawati reportedly said. “Yadav votes were not transferred to us but our votes did go to them. Samajwadi Party won only where Muslims voted heavily for them.”