Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) made official their decision to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as allies with an objective to throw out the “arrogant” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the centre.
Addressing reporters in a historic press conference, BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said that the people are fed up with the “communal, anti-poor and anti-Dalit” policies of the BJP governments in the Centre and the states.
Supporters of the two parties were seen celebrating on the streets in some cities of Uttar Pradesh
Reacting to the news of the alliance formation, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said that it signals the beginning of the end of the BJP.
“BJP ke haar ki shuruwaat Uttar Pradesh aur Bihar se ho chuki hai (The beginning of the end of BJP has started from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar),” Tejashwi was quoted as saying by ANI.
RJD is an ally of the Congress in Bihar as part of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ with other parties. The Congress, however, was dumped by both BSP and SP in Uttar Pradesh.
At the press conference in Lucknow today, Mayawati revealed that their decision is based on past experiences of the two parties with the Congress which prove that poll mathematics become unfavourable for those who ally with the grand old party. She also equated the Congress’ policies to that of the BJP’s when it comes to poor and the marginalised communities.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been at the forefront of an attempt at making a grand alliance against the BJP, welcomed the alliance between the SP and BSP – who have been bitter rivals in the state for years.
“I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” she wrote in a short tweet.
I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 12, 2019
Commenting on the newly-formed alliance, Congress leader and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath kept the focus on the need for more anti-BJP alliances in the country.
“Today there is a need of alliances in the entire country. BJP got only 31 per cent votes in 2014 and claimed it was people’s mandate, this happened due to split in votes,” he said.
The BJP rejected the alliance claiming that both SP and BSP are trying to save their political ground and an alliance between the two will spell doom for the people.
“Any grand alliance of Opposition parties against the BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will bring in anarchy, corruption and political instability,” said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“Those who did not like each other are talking about a mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). This is an alliance for corruption, anarchy and political instability,” Yogi said at the party’s national council meeting in New Delhi.
BJP’s national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “Both parties are contesting together just to save their political ground. These parties have blamed each other of murder in the past,”
“Anyway, it’s their choice. We are confident. Even if all parties come together, we will still win,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier today, the SP and the BSP announced their seat-sharing formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Both parties will contest on 38 seats each of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
Two seats have been left for other allies. No member party of the alliance will contest from Amethi and Rae Bareilly, the parliamentary constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, respectively.