Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Sunday that all rumours of an alliance between BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were false and baseless.
“I want to clarify that BSP has not allied with any political party. All rumors about BSP & SP alliance in UP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections are false and baseless,” Mayawati was quoted as saying by ANI.
Earlier in the day, SP spokesperson Pankhuri Pathak in a tweet said that BSP would support SP in the Lok Sabha bypolls. “BSP and @samajwadiparty to fight by-polls together. It’s official. Congrats to both parties and all members. Time to score that win.”
In an earlier tweet, she had hinted that the parties may forge a larger alliance as well. “BSP to Support @samajwadiparty in the LS By-Polls in Phulpur & Gorakhpur. Much awaited decision by Mayawati Ji. Looking forward to contesting together and creating a larger Bahujan secular alliance.”
The BSP chief, while speaking in Lucknow, said that her party was not going to float a candidate for the upcoming UP Lok Sabha bypolls. “We have not floated any candidate for Lok Sabha Phulpur & Gorakhpur by-polls. Our party members will exercise their vote to defeat the BJP candidate,” she said while asserting that an act of passing a vote to defeat the BJP cannot be termed as an electoral alliance.
SP leader Sunil Singh Yadav had said earlier that since the BSP doesn’t contest by-elections, in both constituencies up for bypolls, SP will put up a stronger fight to defeat the BJP.
BSP had helped the SP in recent Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad voting but Mayawati outlined why BSP took the position and how it doesn’t translate into an alliance with its old political rival.
“UP mein haal hi mein Rajya Sabha aur Vidhan Parishad mein hone wale chunaav mein BJP ko harane ke liye SP aur BSP ke dwara ek dusre ko vote transfer kar diya jata hai toh yeh koi chunavi gathbandhan nahi (If SP and BSP transferred votes between them to defeat the BJP in the recent Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad polls, it doesn’t mean there is an electoral alliance),” she added.
The by-elections for Lok Sabha constituencies Gorakhpur and Phulpur will be held on March 11. The seats were vacated by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya.
One of BSP’s office-bearers, however, said that the party would do anything to decimate the BJP in UP. “We are working with the SP to defeat the BJP. Behenji had last week said we have to decimate the BJP which means we will do anything that is needed for this. Currently, the SP is fighting the BJP, so we will make it win to ensure the BJP’s defeat. This alliance is the need of the hour and we will work together,” said Ashok Kumar Gautam, BSP zonal in-charge, in Allahabad.