The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election as an alliance in Uttar Pradesh. Each party will field candidates in 38 out of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies, effectively leaving no space for the Congress.
Making the announcement here at a much-anticipated joint press conference with SP president Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati said their “historic” coming-together would “rob [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi and [BJP president] Amit Shah of their sleep.” She described the alliance as a signal for a “new political revolution.”
The alliance was capable of stopping the BJP from returning to power at the Centre, provided the party did not “tamper with EVMs like earlier” or stoke the “religious sentiments of people in the name of Ram Mandir,” she said.
Responding to reporters, Ms. Mayawati said the alliance was sthahi (permanent) and will “continue for long,” including for the 2022 Assembly election in the State.
Asked whether he would support Ms. Mayawati for the post of Prime Minister, Mr. Yadav provided a diplomatic answer, saying, “U.P. has always given a PM, and I will be happy if the PM again comes from U.P.”
While the two parties decided to exclude the Congress from the anti-BJP alliance, they will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Justifying the coming together of the long-time opponents, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) for the Lok Sabha election later this year, Ms. Mayawati on Saturday said the alliance was forged keeping in mind the interest of the people and country, and to “stop the BJP from coming to power at the Centre at any cost.”
”This is not just the coming together of two parties to win elections” but a shakti (force) to protect and represent” oppressed sections and classes, including OBCs, Dalits and Muslims, she said.
She said in coming together with the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, she had risen above the infamous Lucknow guest house incident of 1995 keeping in mind the country and public interest. She compared the current “polluted political atmosphere and communalism” to the one in the 1990s when her mentor mentor Kanshiram and Akhilesh Yadav’s father Mulayam Singh came together and formed a government.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said the alliance was “not just an election alliance, but also an end to the injustice and oppression committed by the BJP,” accusing the party of spreading an “atmosphere of fear and terror through communal strife”.
“To bring an end to BJP’s arrogance, it was very important for the two parties” to form an alliance, he said.
While the two parties decided to exclude the Congress from the anti-BJP alliance, they will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, seats held by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, so that the “BJP cannot keep them entangled” in their own constituencies, said Ms. Mayawati.
She also said the “bitter experience” of both the SP (2017) and BSP (1996) in aligning with the Congress in the past showed that the grand-old party was not beneficial to them and could barely transfer its votes.