Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Saturday announced that their parties would contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reported. The two addressed a joint press conference in Lucknow.
“We have decided to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together, this will lead to a new political revolution in the country,” she said. “For the national interest and for the betterment of the nation, we are again coming together.”
Mayawati claimed that people have great expectations from the alliance. “We represent the poor, farmers, youth, unemployed, women, Dalit, backwards, Muslims and other minorities,” she said.
Yadav and Mayawati have been each others’ fiercest rivals in the past. They had met in Delhi last week, reportedly to discuss their alliance.
On Friday, Yadav had all but announced the tie-up with Mayawati’s party, but did not mention whether they would include the Congress. “We will leave two seats for Congress but won’t say anything on whether it will be on board or not,” he had said, implying they would not contest from Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s constituencies.
“I don’t want to say anything about the Congress because first we need to resolve the alliance of Samajwadi Party and BSP,” NDTV had quoted Yadav as saying.
The Congress responded sharply, saying that ignoring them in Uttar Pradesh would be a “dangerous mistake”.
The Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party had tied up for the byepolls in two Uttar Pradesh seats held last February, and had won. The wins were significant as the seats, Gorakhpur and Phulpur, were vacated by the current chief minister and his deputy – Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya. Akhilesh Yadav had then said he was grateful for Mayawati’s support.
Uttar Pradesh has the most Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the country. The state has 80 representatives in the Lok Sabha, and 403 in its Assembly.