SP hints at joining hand with BSP in future; BJP dubs move as compulsion

5 Mar 2018

The electoral understanding between the BSP and SP ahead of the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls has created a stir in the political circles, with the SP hopeful of a possible alliance in the future and the BJP dubbing the move as "compulsion".

Though Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Sunday ruled out an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP), she said her party's workers would work for a candidate that could defeat the BJP. Local BSP leaders in Gorakhpur and Phulpur have also formally announced their support to SP candidates. The Samajwadi Party, while sounding optimistic about BSP's decision, said that "today's understanding" will culminate into a "poll alliance" tomorrow. "Two forces (BSP and SP) have joined hands to wage a war against the feudal and communal forces in the state. The sections of the population and society (especially the dalits, most-backwards and backwards) who had been grossly neglected and oppressed, will give a befitting reply to the communal forces," SP spokesperson and MLC Sunil Singh Sajan told news agency PTI.

Sajan said the new "equation" will not only challenge the communal forces, but also prove effective against them. However, asked about BSP chief Mayawati's assertion of ruling out any possibility of an electoral tie-up with the Samajwadi Party, Sajan said, "Aaj samjhautaa hai, kal gathbandhan bhi ho sakta hai! (Today's understanding might turn into a poll alliance tomorrow)."  Senior SP leader and Leader of Opposition in UP Assembly Ram Gobind Chaudhary had on Sunday in Ballia told reporters, "The results of Gorakhpur will be astonishing and SP will demolish BJP's citadel." The BJP has "reached its peak and now it's the time for its decline", Chaudhary said. "SP candidate is winning in Gorakhpur and after BSP's support our victory has become certain," he added. On the possibility of an alliance with BSP in Lok Sabha polls, Chaudhary said: "A start has been made. Decision in this regard will be taken by Akhilesh Yadav ji and Mayawati ji". By-polls to the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats will be held on March 11. The seats were vacated by chief minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively after both became members of UP Legislative Council last year.

Reacting to the development, the UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi termed the move taken by BSP chief Mayawati as "unwanted" and one taken in "compulsion". "The BSP is confused...both the SP and BSP are in a state of gloom, and are fighting for their existence." On why Mayawati decided to extend support to the SP, and not the Congress, Tripathi claimed it could be because the Congress too is in a state of shock and agony. "Despite all efforts to wage an electoral battle against the BJP by widening the caste base will prove futile, as for the BJP, the election issue is of development," Tripathi told PTI.