Akhilesh Yadav’s visit to Mayawati’s home Wednesday marked the end of a bitter rivalry of 23 years between their parties. The rivalry had reached flash point in 1995, when SP leaders had attempted to assault her at the VVIP Guesthouse in Lucknow after she had withdrawn support to the Mulayam Singh Yadav government. The BJP claims to have rescued her. Today, it is the SP and the BSP that got together to defeat the BJP.
The SP and the BSP had contested the 1993 Assembly elections together. The BJP had won the largest number of seats but the SP-BSP, with Congress support, formed the government and Mulayam took oath as chief minister in December 1993. Frequent conflict followed, however, and on June 2, 1995, Mayawati decided to withdraw support.
Senior BJP leader Rajendra Tiwari recalls that evening, when SP workers had gheraoed the guesthouse where Mayawati was staying in Room No. 1 on the ground floor . “Mayawati had locked the door from inside and SP workers were outside. The then BJP MLA from Farrukhabad, Brahm Dutt Dwivedi, rescued Mayawati. He also also contacted Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The BJP took Mayawati to Governor House, extended support to BSP, and Mayawati took oath as CM the next morning,” Tiwari said.