Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday held Samajwadi Party squarely responsible for the poor show of the Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. Addressing the media in Lucknow, Mayawati also announced that her party will contest the bypolls in the state alone but did not rule out reuniting with the SP again. Asserting that the Samajwadi Party leadership failed to retain the Yadav votes and seats of Akhilesh Yadav’s family members, Mayawati said that she was “saddened by the loss of Samajwadi Party” and that they should learn about commitment and sacrifice from the BSP cadre.
Mayawati further said that she would consider reuniting with the SP, provided Akhilesh manages to make improvements within his party. However, she made it clear that since bringing about these changes will require time and that the dates for bypolls will be announced anytime soon, the BSP has decided to go it alone for now.
The development is seen as a huge setback for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh that contested the general elections in an agreement to defeat the BJP. The alliance, however, won just 15 of the 80 parliamentary seats.
“We can’t ignore political compulsions. In the results of Lok Sabha elections in UP, base vote of Samajwadi Party, the ‘Yadav’ community, didn’t support the party. Even strong contenders of SP were defeated,” she said. She, however, hinted that the two UP-based parties may come together in future if Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav succeeds in strengthening the party cadre.
“It’s not a permanent break. If we feel in future that SP Chief succeeds in his political work, we will again work together. But if he doesn’t succeed, it’ll be good for us to work separately. So we’ve decided to fight the by-elections alone,” Mayawati said.
The talks about SP-BSP parting their have been in the news ever since the result of the general election was declared. While the BSP won 11 seats, the SP pocketed just five seats. The BJP won 62 seats on its own.
The bypolls will be held for 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh after the election of sitting MLAs to the Lok Sabha Sabha. Those who have been elected to the Lok Sabha include BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi (Lucknow Cantt), Satyadev Pachauri (Govind Nagar), SP Singh Baghel (Tundla), Sangam Lal Gupta (Pratapgarh), Pradeep Kumar (Saharanpur), RK Singh Patel (Chitrakoot), Upendra Rawat (Barabanki), Akshaywar Lal (Bahraich) and Rajvir Singh (Aligarh). Samajwadi Party MLA Azam Khan will vacate his Rampur seat since he has won the Lok Sabha elections. In Ambedkar Nagar, BSP MLA Ritesh Pandey has won the Lok Sabha elections and his Jalalpur Assembly seat will also be vacant.