Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party officially announced the formation of the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh, declaring that two parties will contest on 38 seats each in this year’s Lok Sabha polls. Two seats each have been given to the Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The grand alliance partners, the SP, the BSP and the RLD will not field any candidates in two Congress bastions, Amethi and Raebareli.
Speaking to reporters in Lucknow, BSP Chief Mayawati said, “Be it BJP or Congress, whoever rules, their policies are mostly the same. For example, we are seeing how both indulged in corruption in defence deals. Congress imposed declared emergency, today there is undeclared emergency.”
News agency ANI quoted her as saying, “Moreover, we won’t gain anything by including Congress in our alliance. Both BSP and SP have experienced in the past that Congress’s vote is not transferrable.”
When asked why the Congress was not being included in the grand alliance, Mayawati implied that there was not much difference between it and the BJP. She also said that aligning with the Congress hadn’t helped the BSP in the past. She said, “In the past I have seen that our votes get transferred to the Congress, but not vice-versa. We do not gain from alliance with Congress, whereas vote transfer is perfect in SP-BSP tie-up.”
The Congress on Friday had said that ignoring it was a mistake by the SP and the BSP. “We may have fallen on difficult times. But I think to ignore us can prove to be a very dangerous mistake,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi had told reporters in Delhi when asked about the possible SP-BSP alliance.
In 2014, the BJP had taken advantage of the split in secular votes and had won 71 out of 80 seats. However, the saffron party lost all Lok Sabha bypolls including Gorakhpur in the recent past when it faced a united opposition.