Akhilesh, Mayawati likely to announce alliance for Lok Sabha polls tomorrow

New Delhi Jan 11 Akhilesh Yadav and BSP president Mayawati in a meeting held in Delhi early this month.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav are likely to announce an alliance for the general elections this year, in a joint press conference Saturday.

The two parties have held talks of alliance to defeat the incumbent BJP in Uttar Pradesh, leaving behind the Congress which is attempting to stitch a grand alliance with all opposition parties. The BSP had lent its support to the SP in the UP bypolls last year to two Lok Sabha seats, in a move that the SP had called the beginning of “a larger Bahujan secular alliance”.

The holding of the joint press conference was announced Friday by SP national secretary Rajendra Chaudhary and Bahujan Samaj Party national general secretary SC Misra.

The seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls was discussed in a meeting of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP president Mayawati in a meeting held in Delhi early this month.

There was broad agreement that the BSP and SP would contest 37 seats each, leaving the remaining six for allies, including two each for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Congress, the sources said. Seeking non-Yadav OBC and non-Jatav Dalit votes, the BSP and SP have decided to keep space open for non-dominant caste parties in their upcoming alliance.

Of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in UP, the BJP and its ally Apna Dal won 73 in 2014. The SP won five, and the Congress two.

Early this week, BSP supremo Mayawati used the words “SP-BSP alliance” for the first time in a statement through which she expressed support for SP chief Akhilesh Yadav whose alleged role in a mining scam has come on the CBI radar.

 Both the parties also came together outside Parliament on Monday to slam the government for trying to “frame” Akhilesh in the mining case. Inside Parliament, too, the former UP rivals brought the Opposition together on the issue despite the Congress insisting on attacking the government over the Rafale fighter deal.