Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday announced an alliance for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. The SP and the BSP will contest on 38 seats each while two seats have been left for the Congress and two for other allies.
Addressing a press conference in Lucknow along with Akhilesh, Mayawati said the SP-BSP alliance “will give sleepless nights to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah”.
Though this is not the first time the BSP and SP will contest in Uttar Pradesh in an alliance, this time they are pitted against a stronger rival. However, the party has chosen not to include the Congress in their battle against the BJP saying that there was no real gain in aligning with the party.
“Congress party rule hasn’t benefitted anyone. There’s no real vote transfer from Congress and hence no real gain from aligning with Congress. We won’t ally with any party which will hurt our political ambitions,” said Mayawati.
Terming their alliance as a political revolution, Akhilesh Yadav said that the merger was necessary to bring down the soaring arrogance of the BJP.
“We have come together to rid the state and country of BJP’s religion and caste politics. This alliance was a must to destroy BJP, to defeat their arrogance. BJP can go to any extent to create differences in our workers, we must be united and counter any such tactic,” he added.
The Samajwadi Party chief further said that any insult to Mayawati would be an insult to him.
“I want to say to BJP that they should know that we (SP-BSP) are in this together. I am grateful to Mayawati for giving me equal status. They should know any insult to Mayawati is my insult,” he 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.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad dismissed the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance saying it was a desperate effort for survival.
“The SP BSP alliance is for their survival, it’s not in the interest of the country or Uttar Pradesh,” he said at media briefing on the second day of BJP’s national council meet in Delhi.