SP confirms split with BSP

Our Bureau New Delhi/Lucknow | Updated on June 04, 2019 Published on June 04, 2019

End of alliance? A file photo of BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav   -  Rajeev Bhatt

The alliance of two regional players in UP is all but over

In less than two weeks after the Lok Sabha poll results, the alliance of two main regional parties in Uttar Pradesh — the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) — has come apart with the SP President Akhilesh Yadav, on Tuesday, indicating that his party will contest the upcoming by-polls in 11 Assembly seats on its own.

Yadav, who was in Ghazipur in eastern UP to offer his condolence to the family of a murdered SP worker, said: “If the Gathbandhan (alliance) has disintegrated or whatever that is being said about the Gathbandhan is true, then I will deliberate on it carefully...”

By-polls are due in 11 Assembly seats in UP — Gangoh, Tundla, Govindnagar, Lucknow Cantonment, Pratapgarh, Manikpur Chitrakoot, Rampur, Jaidpur, Barabanki, Balha, Bahraich, Iglas and Jalalpur.

The alliance was formed in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls after a similar tie-up ensured the rout of the BJP from three Lok Sabha seats — Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana — in by-polls held last year after the BJP swept the State Assembly polls.

But this time, the tie-up failed to yield desired results for the SP, which contested 37 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats, and for the BSP which pitted its candidates in 38 seats.

While the BSP wrested 10 seats compared with nil in 2014, the SP won five, the same number of seats it bagged last time. Another ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal, lost all the three seats it contested jointly with the SP and the BSP. The alliance had not fielded candidates in the Congress strongholds of Rae Bareli and Amethi, though the Grand Old Party could retain only Rae Bareli, losing Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani.

‘Purpose not served’

After a meeting of her party on Monday, Mayawati had indicated that the alliance had not served its purpose. On Tuesday, she held a press conference and said she holds the SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple Yadav in high regard, and they have, in turn, treated her with utmost respect, but there are political realities. “We cannot ignore the reality even though the relationship we share with the SP is beyond politics,” said Mayawati.

Akhilesh, on his part, seemed to respond in kind.

“When there is no alliance, we will prepare on our own for the upcoming UP by-polls and contest from all the 11 seats. We will be preparing for it and a decision will be taken after consulting senior members of the party,” he said.

He said that even if the BSP treads a separate path, it is welcome.

The SP chief said, “At this point of time, the Gathbandhan is not important for us. What is more important is that the family of our slain party worker should get justice... I am more concerned over the killing of our workers.” Vijay Yadav was killed by some unidentified people who attacked him after barging into this house on May 24.

Published on June 04, 2019
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