BSP supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav during a joint press conference in Lucknow.
Twenty four years after their bitter separation following the infamous ‘Guest House’ incident, when BSP supremo Mayawati was allegedly attacked by Samajwadi Party (SP) workers, the two archrivals SP and BSP formally announced on Saturday their alliance in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls to ”prevent” BJP from returning to power.
Congress has been kept out of the alliance as the two leaders felt that allying with the grand old party would not benefit the alliance.
SP and BSP, however, have decided not to field their candidates in the Nehru-Gandhi bastions of Amethi and Raebareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi respectively.
There was no mention of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) but Akhilesh hinted that he could spare some seats for the party from his quota.
Of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, both SP and BSP would contest 38 seats each. Two seats would be given to smaller outfits, which chose to join the alliance. Two seats were left for Congress.
Terming the alliance ”historic” and a ”political revolution”, Mayawati told reporters here that the coming together of the two parties would give ”sleepless nights” to the ”Guru-Chela” (prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah) as it would ”change the direction of the national politics”.
Mayawati also said that she decided to ally with SP in the interest of the country and the people. ”I have kept the public interest and the country above the Guest House incident,” she said. ”Our alliance in 1993 did not last long…but the interest of the people and country is above the Guest House incident,” she remarked.
Stating that the country expected a lot from the SP-BSP alliance, the BSP supremo blasted both BJP and Congress for what she alleged ”corruption” in defence deals.
”Bofors spelt the doom of Congress…Rafale will spell the doom of BJP,” she remarked.
Stating that both BJP and Congress were ”same”, Mayawati said that the two leaders decided to the grand old party out of the alliance as the latter’s votes were not transferred to their partners. ”We have seen in the past that Congress’ votes are not transferred to other parties whereas our votes go to them,” she added.
Akhilesh, while addressing the media, attacked the BJP but refrained from targeting the Congress. ”I had said that SP was ready to compromise for the sake of alliance but I am thankful to Mayawatiji for agreeing to give us an equal number of seats,” he said.
He hinted that some other smaller outfits might be accommodated in the alliance and that the SP might spare a few seats for them from its quota.
Both Akhilesh and Mayawati appealed to their workers to beware of BJP’s ”conspiracy” to divide them and also engineer communal riots to ”polarise” the voters along communal lines. ”An attack on Mayawatiji is an attack on me,” Akhilesh said.
They said that a decision about which seats to be contested by which party would be taken later.