Calling the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance for the Lok Sabha elections as “thugbandhan”, former SP leader and Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Yadav has said his newly formed Pragtisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia is ready to join hands with the Congress, ANI reported.
“Abhi humari baat toh nahi hui hai lekin jitne bhi secular party hain, Congress bhi hai, agar Congress humse sampark karegi, humse baat karegi, toh main bilkul taiyaar hu. (We haven’t talked about it yet, but any secular party, including Congress, if contacts us and talks to us I am ready),” Shivpal was quoted as saying by ANI.
Reacting on the SP-BSP alliance, Shivpal said, “The alliance is a ‘thugbandhan’ (alliance of thugs) and is for money. It is possible that money must have been taken before forging the alliance.” Expressing the importance of his party in the upcoming Parliamentary polls, Shivpal said that no alliance can defeat the BJP without the help of PSPL and “we are ready to form an alliance with other secular parties to defeat the BJP and oust it from power at the centre.”
Earlier in the day, Congress, after being snubbed from the SP-BSP alliance, announced to contest from 80 seats in UP. The decision was announced after Congress General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad and UP Congress chief Raj Babbar held a closed-door meeting with senior leaders in Lucknow. Keeping the option of forging an alliance open, Azad said it was willing to accommodate any secular party competent to fight the BJP. “If any secular party competent to fight the BJP, willing to go with us, we will accommodate them,” PTI quoted Azad as saying.
On Saturday, SP-BSP putting to rest months of speculation announced their alliance and seat-sharing formula. Both the SP and the BSP will contest on 38 seats each in the state leaving two seats of Rae Bareli and Amethi for the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and former party president Sonia Gandhi. The alliance also left two more seats for any future alliance.
The BSP chief stated that the alliance would benefit each other just like the alliance stitched by former BSP chief Kanshiram and former SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav back in 1993.