SP and BSP had joined hands for Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections. And the results have shown their experimental tie-up can not just scare the mighty BJP but defeat it as well.
Bitter political rivals rarely join hands but when they do, they shake things up like never before. Bihar witnessed this during 2015 Assembly elections when Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav joined hands to take on the BJP. The saffron party, despite being billed as favourites, were shocked by the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance. It is another matter that their tie-up couldn’t sustain for long and Kumar decided to return to the NDA camp.
In Uttar Pradesh, a Bihar-like experiment is brewing between Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Both parties had joined hands for Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections. And the results have shown their experimental tie-up can not just scare the mighty BJP but defeat it as well. This seems to have dawned on Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati – leaders of SP and BSP respectively.
Moreover, the SP and BSP supremos appear to have already started making moves.
After the bypolls win on Wednesday, Mayawati surprised Akhilesh by sending a black Mercedes to invite Akhilesh at her residence. This hinted that BSP supremo was serious about taking their tie-up forward.
According to a report by Hindi Daily Navbharat Times, Mayawati had herself sent the Mercedes to invite Akhilesh for a meet at her residence. Reportedly, their meeting was not fixed in advance and a decision for this was taken soon after the bypoll results were out.
BSP national secretary Satish Chandra Mishra and MP Askhok Siddharth played crucial roles in organising the meet.
Though Akhilesh had his own cavalcade, the gesture of sending the Mercedes by Mayawati hinted both parties were happily ready for the meet, and expectedly a future alliance.
To ensure a win in the bypolls, Akhilesh had started early preparations. In fact, soon after losing Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections last year, Akhilesh had started work on strengthening his organisation. He also forged alliances with several small parties.
And just a few days before the bypolls, when BJP was all certain about its victory in both seats, Akhilesh delivered the killer punch by joining hands with BSP for the bypolls. The BJP couldn’t even realise the impact of the SP-BSP pact and lost in overconfidence, as chief minister Yogi Adityanath himself pointed out this on Wednesday.
A year ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the bypoll results in Uttar Pradesh have given opposition parties a sure-shot formula to throw BJP out of power. That is, the saffron party can be defeated if opposition parties join hands and put up a single candidate against the BJP candidate.
Akhilesh-Mayawati meet continued for around 45 minutes. Akhilesh didn’t provide details of what he talked with Mayawati but certainly, they seem to have taken the first big step towards 2019. BJP should worry!