Mayawati, the Dalit powerhouse of Uttar Pradesh, has said in an exclusive interview that the long-expected alliance with Akhilesh Yadav for next year’s Lok Sabha election is on.
“A declaration has to be made and it will be done once we work out the seat-sharing arrangement. There is still time for Lok Sabha elections and we will work it out closer to the polls,” she was reported as saying. Mayawati added that people were already aware of the SP-BSP alliance even though no formal announcement had been made yet.
Ms Mayawati at his side, HD Kumaraswamy, the son of former Prime Minister Deve Gowda, said the election in Karnataka is going to take an unexpected turn and it would provide an opportunity for “take-off for the centre”.
This alliance could be a huge disruptor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans for re-election given that UP elects 80 MPs, more than any other state, and the recent whopping defeat in Gorakhpur was a test case that proved that the BJP can be defeated even in its strongholds in India’s most-populous state if Mr Yadav and Ms Mayawati combine their support groups.
There had been signs of souring ties when SP failed to ensure victory for BSP’s lone candidate in Rajya Sabha elections after the bypolls. While BJP had tried to “warn” Mayawati against trusting SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, she lashed out at the ruling party, saying it would not make any difference to the “closeness” between the two parties.