THE Opposition ‘gathbandhan’ in Uttar Pradesh unravelled on Tuesday with BSP chief Mayawati declaring her party will fight the Assembly by-polls alone, prompting Akhilesh Yadav to say his SP too is ready to go solo. The Bahujan Samaj Party chief, however, said the break is not permanent and she can work with the Samajwadi Party again if the SP president can “fulfil his duties”.
Reacting to her statement, Yadav told reporters in Ghazipur, “If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates on all 11 seats up for the by-polls after consulting party leaders soon.” Mayawati said she will try to ensure that the BSP-SP relationship stays intact. “On the other hand, political compulsions cannot be ignored completely and everyone knows that,” she told the media in the national capital, less than a fortnight after the announcement of the Lok Sabha results. The BJP ridiculed the two Opposition partners for their short-lived alliance.
Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma said, “The ‘gathbandhan’ died on May 23 and on the 13th day, the allies have parted ways,” he said, referring to the traditional Hindu mourning. The BJP won 62 of 80 seats in the state while the opposition alliance bagged just 15, with the BSP winning 10 and the SP five. The Congress got one seat and the BJP ally Apna Dal (S) two. In 2014, the BSP could not even manage one seat while the SP won five that time as well.
Eleven Assembly by-polls are due in UP after the respective MLAs won the Lok Sabha polls. Nine of them are from the BJP, and one each from the BSP and the SP. “The bypolls can be announced any moment now. We have decided to fight the bypolls, which will happen on some seats, all alone,” Mayawati said.