Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday said that details of seat sharing with Mayawati’s BSP may be announced in a week, but kept cards close to his chest on the possibility of having any ties with the Congress.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have decided to fight the upcoming general elections together and have already worked out a seat sharing arrangement to take on the BJP, which along with its allies won 73 seats from in Uttar Pradesh in 2014. “You will come to know about it (alliance) in a week or so,” Yadav said when asked as to when an official announcement will be made.
On the possibility of the Congress joining the alliance, Yadav said, “The two leaders of the ‘gathbandhan’ have to decide whether Congress will be there or not.” Yadav declined to elaborate further, leaving the opposition parties guessing on whether the Congress will be accommodated.
Yadav had recently expressed displeasure against the Congress for not including its lone MLA in the new Madhya Pradesh ministry headed by Kamal Nath.
BSP leader Mayawati too has said that it may withdraw its support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan if the cases against Dalits lodged during a protest last year are not withdrawn.
The SP and the BSP have, however, decided not to field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituencies of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi. Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has a presence in western UP, has also been accommodated in the alliance.
The politically crucial Uttar Pradesh sends 80 lawmakers to the Lok Sabha. The ruling BJP has dubbed the development as opportunistic and anti-people.
By joining hands, the opposition parties had defeated the BJP in three Lok Sabha bypolls in the state last year, the first show of strength after the 2017 Assembly elections which saw the saffron party storm to power in the state after a 14-year hiatus.
In the last parliamentary elections in 2014, the BJP won 71 seats in the state, securing 42.63 per cent of the votes. BJP ally Apna Dal bagged two more. The Samajwadi Party had won five seats with a vote share of 22.35 per cent. The BSP did not win any seat while securing 19.77 per cent votes. The Congress had registered wins in two seats, bagging 7.53 per cent of the votes.