Earlier this month, while saying that the BSP would contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly bypolls on its own, Mayawati had said that it was not a “permanent break” from the SP. She had said that she could work with SP leader Akhilesh Yadav again in the future if he “fulfills his political duties”.
But in a series of tweets in Hindi on Monday, Mayawati said: “Everyone is aware that forgetting the differences in the past, as also the anti-BSP and anti-Dalit decisions like reservation in promotions and the law and order situaton during the SP rule in 2012-17, the BSP adhered to the ‘gathbandhan dharma’ with the SP in the interest of the country.”
“But the SP’s behaviour after the Lok Sabha elections has forced the BSP to think whether it will be possible to defeat the BJP in the future. This is not possible. Therefore, in the interest of the party and the movement, the party will contest all small and big elections on its own strength,” she said. She did not elaborate on what she meant by the SP’s behaviour. When contacted, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said party president Akhilesh Yadav had already made it clear that the SP would fight elections on its own if the alliance was broken.
Mayawati made the announcement a day after she held a party meeting in Lucknow on Sunday to review the party’s performance in the Lok Sabha elections. Sources said that Mayawati, while addressing the meeting, blamed the SP for the defeat of the alliance in the Lok Sabha polls. According to sources, she accused the SP leadership of ignoring Muslims in distribution of tickets.
The BSP won 10 of the 38 seats it contested, while the SP won 5 of the 37 seats from where it fielded candidates. The RLD, which was also a part of the alliance, drew a blank in all the three seats it contested.
Mayawati had earlier blamed “internal sabotage” in the SP’s vote base of “Yadav samaj”, saying that it “drifted away” from the alliance, even in the SP strongholds. According to sources in the SP, after Mayawati’s statement, Akhilesh had asked the party to get ready to fight the Assembly bypolls on its own.
In early 2018, the SP and BSP had joined hands for the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, where they defeated the BJP. They remained together for the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll, where they fielded a Muslim candidate on the RLD symbol.