Uttar Pradesh happens to be the most politically crucial state and stakes are high for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019. In the last assembly elections, Mayawati led BSP, had contested alone while Akhilesh Yadav's SP had joined hands with Rahul Gandi-led Congress.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati on Saturday announced the long-awaited SP-BSP alliance in the most politically crucial state — Uttar Pradesh — to take on the Bhartiya Janata Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls in 2019. The alliance is expected to upset the arithmetic for the saffron party which bagged 73 of 80 parliamentary seats in the last general elections in 2014.
The Indian Express has done a detailed analysis of constituency-wise data from the 2017 Assembly elections. Based on its findings, the national daily predicts that the SP-BSP alliance could win at least 57 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats while restricting the NDA (BJP+Apna Dal+Suheldev Samaj) to just 23 seats. In the last assembly elections, Mayawati-led BSP had contested alone while Akhilesh Yadav’s SP had joined hands with Congress.
The NDA swept the elections by bagging 325 seats with 39.7 per cent vote share. The SP came second and won 47 seats with 22 per cent vote share. Mayawati’s BSP was close to SP in terms of vote share but could win just 19 of 403 seats. The Congress could secure just 7 seats with 6.2 per cent vote share.
The report says that since the SP and Congress were in alliance, votes polled to the Congress would be considered as SP votes in constituencies where the SP did not contest. It is expected that now SP and BSP votes would be consolidated in the constituencies where the Dalit, Yadav and Muslims form the majority.
This happened in the state last year when SP and BSP came to an informal understanding and Mayawati withdrew her candidates and extended her support to Akhilesh Yadav in Phulpur and Gorakhpur. The BJP lost both the seats to the SP.
In the last general elections, the BJP-led NDA had won 73 seats with 42.30 per cent vote share. The SP won five but BSP could not win even win a single seat. However, both the regional parties together recorded (SP-22.20 per cent and BSP-19.60 per cent) 41.80 per cent vote share. With this vote percentage, the alliance may put the saffron party in trouble in the next general elections.
The SP-BSP have come together 24 years after the infamous Guesthouse scandal that turned best friends into each other’s nemesis.