A day after Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati declared that the alliance with former rival Samajwadi Party was here to stay till 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav reassured of the same. The 44-year-old leader said that though BJP wrestled its way to UP’s ninth Rajya Sabha seat, the SP-BSP alliance had strengthened nevertheless.
“The victory of the BJP on the ninth seat, contested by the saffron party with the help of money power, has given the SP an opportunity to expose the communal outfit’s anti-Dalit face. Because of the conspiracy hatched by the BJP against a Dalit getting elected, SP-BSP unity has got strengthened all the more for the (2019) Lok Sabha polls,” Akhilesh was quoted as saying by PTI.
On Friday, BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar lost despite the support of SP as well as Congress MLAs because of cross-voting done by BSP MLA Anil Singh — who was later suspended. As a sign of solidarity to BSP, Akhilesh later cancelled the function to felicitate SP leader Jaya Bachchan on getting re-elected to the Rajya Sabha
The following day, Mayawati said that BSP’s Rajya Sabha loss won’t make an iota of difference to the proximity that has developed between the SP and BSP. “We may have been defeated, but our party and SP workers will work harder, will full power, to stop the BJP from coming to power at the Centre… If everything continues to work out well,” she said at a press conference in Lucknow.
On Sunday, Akhilesh claimed that the recent Rajya Sabha elections in UP had exposed the real character of the BJP which “misused money and power against the poor”. He also spoke about the bypolls results in Gorakhpur and Phulpur being indicators of where the tide could go during 2019 elections.
“I term the bypolls victories as big ones because it was not just our victory but also the defeat of CM Adityanath and the deputy CM. Yogi ji, who was campaigning all over the country for the BJP could not save his own turf. It has sent a message all over the country and instilled confidence among people and workers that if the BJP can be defeated in their own constituencies, the result can be replicated all over,” Akhilesh said before thanking Mayawati for her support.
The SP chief said that to counter allegations of dynastic politics, his wife Dimple Yadav will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “We have decided, she will not contest this time as we are charged with pariwarwad. BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Kalyan Singh, Raman Singh, Shivraj Chauhan are indulging in nepotism. Members of their family are in politics. My wife is not contesting…They (BJP) too should also set an example. If they don’t do so and only make allegations against us, I can also change my mind,” he said.
Akhilesh also said that as the polls near, a clearer picture would emerge on the prospects of an alliance with Congress. “My relations with the Congress are good and will remain so. It is a national party while we are strong here in the state. The preparations for stitching together an alliance are on. The leader will be decided later at an opportune time,” he told PTI.
The former UP chief minister also criticised the present dispensation for the increasing number of police encounters in the state. “They are doing encounters. But these are political encounters. And I want to tell all those involved that they will have to face probe now or later. They cannot get away with it. The BJP is damaging the fabric of the society by spreading communalism and casteism,” he told PTI.