‘BSP to go it alone if seat share is not respectable’

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will be compelled to go it alone if it does not get a “respectable” number of seats in the anti-BJP alliance that is shaping up before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said on Sunday.

At a press conference, held for the first time in her new accommodation here after she was forced to vacate her sprawling bungalow on Supreme Court orders, Mayawati said, “Our party is not against the alliance, but our stand is very clear that we will ally with a political party only if we get a respectable share of seats. Otherwise, our party feels it better to contest the elections alone.”  On the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the upcoming Assembly elections in certain states, Mayawati said, the effort of the opposition parties will be to stop the BJP from coming to power at any cost.

The BJP however sought to know whom was she expecting respect from. “Is she expecting it from those who had shattered her pride and dignity in the infamous 1995 Guest House case?” asked media co-ordinator of UP BJP Rakesh Tripathi. Recalling the more than two-decade-old incident, Tripathi said it was BJP MLA Brahm Dutt Dwivedi who came to Mayawati’s rescue.

The BSP chief also snubbed Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad, days after he had claimed that he and his “bua” (aunt) Mayawati have the “same blood”. “For the past few days, a man who was recently released from jail is trying to call me ‘bua’. If these people were really interested in the welfare of Dalits, then instead of resurrecting their organisation, they would have joined the BSP,” said Mayawati.  

Sources say Azad’s release is a BJP strategy to lessen the influence of the BSP in western Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.