BSP to contest UP bypolls alone

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati has hinted at snapping the alliance with Samajwadi Party by announcing that her party would contest the bye-elections to 11 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh on its own.

Addressing a meeting of party leaders from Uttar Pradesh in Delhi, she directed them to start preparation for the by-poll on the 11 assembly seats that had fallen vacant after the election of the sitting MLAs to Lok Sabha. Mayawati’s indication of ending the alliance sent the SP leaders into a huddle.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the party leadership will meet to discuss the issue. “We are yet to receive an official statement of the BSP chief. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav will give a statement on the development on continuing the alliance with BSP,” he said. The BJP said the BSP-SP alliance was an opportunistic one to begin with.

“The alliance between BSP-SP-RLD was opportunistic and to serve vested political interests and to cheat the common people. It was not an alliance of ideology and principles. Akhilesh should come clear on the charges leveled by Mayawati that he failed to transfer SP votes to BSP,” BJP spokesperson Salabh Mani Tripathi said,

A senior BSP leader, familiar with the developments, said Mayawati blamed Akhilesh for the poor performance of the alliance in the election. According to the leader, the BSP chief said that the ongoing feud in the Yadav family between Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal Yadav, president of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) cast a shadow on the fortunes of the alliance in the crucial electoral battle.

“Samajwadi Party failed to transfer its votes to BSP candidates. The Yadav community, considered the core vote base of the SP, voted for the BJP candidates on majority of the seats, dumping the alliance candidate,” he added.

“Senior SP leaders as well as family members of Akhilesh, including his wife Dimple Yadav and cousins Dharmendra Yadav and Akshya Yadav lost the elections due to shift in the Yadav community vote bank,” she said. “The BSP got Muslim and Dalit votes, which helped the party in bagging 10 seats,” she added.

“Shivpal had fielded candidates on majority of the Lok Sabha seats. A founder member of SP, Shivpal used his influence to transfer a large chunk of Yadav votes to the BJP. It clearly indicates that Akhilesh has lost grip on the Yadav community voters. He was unable to transfer the SP vote to alliance candidates. In such a scenario, continuing the alliance with SP will damage the prospects of the alliance partners,” Mayawati said.

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