Days after agreeing to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) are all set to hold a joint press conference on Saturday in Lucknow.
Both SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati will be present at the press conference.
Reports say that a joint-presser will be held at the five-star hotel Taj in Gomti Nagar. The two leaders are likely to announce the formalisation of their alliance and also the seat-sharing formula.
The SP and the BSP have agreed to share 37 seats each of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Two seats have been given to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The alliance also decided not to contest on two seats – Amethi and Rae Bareilly – which are Congress bastions and the parliamentary seats of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is not part of the alliance.
On 6 January, SP national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda had called the Congress an “insignificant party” a day after his party joined hands with BSP.
Expressing confidence that the two parties are strong enough to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nanda said, “In Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is an insignificant force, so we are not even thinking of including or excluding it. The SP-BSP alliance is the main force which will take on the BJP.”
He had then said that the grand old party might be there in “one or two seats”.
He added that the SP-BSP alliance faced no problem in defeating the BJP in places where the Congress fielded candidates against the alliance.
The news of the alliance came a day after SP president Akhilesh Yadav met BSP president Mayawati in New Delhi.
Sources said the modalities for seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh were discussed during the meet. A broad consensus emerged wherein it was decided that both parties will contest on an equal number of seats.
Mayawati, a four-time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, flew into Lucknow late on Thursday. The announcement of the alliance is being made before her birthday on 15 January.