BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav. The seats to be contested by the SP include Varanasi and Lucknow. (File photo)
Nearly a month after announcing their alliance, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday declared a seat-sharing pact for the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Uttar Pradesh. The announcement was made by SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati in a joint statement this afternoon. The SP will contest 37 seats and the BSP 38 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. However, the two parties have left Amethi and Rae Bareli seats for the Congress and three seats for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The Ajit Singh-led RLD will contest from Mathura, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar.
The seats to be contested by the SP include Moradabad, Kairana, Rampur, Sambhal, Ghaziabad, Hathras, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Badaun, Etah, Pilibhit, Bareilly, Kheri, Unnao, Hardoi, Etawah, Lucknow, Banda, Jhansi, Kannauj, Kanpur, Kaushambi, Phulpur, Allahabad, Barabanki, Baharaich, Gonda, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, Azamgarh, Balia, Chandauli, Varanasi, Mirzapur, Robertsganj and Faizabad.
The Lok Sabha constituencies where the BSP will be in the fray are - Saharanpur, Bijnor, Nagina, Amroha, Meerut, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Aonla, Shahjahanpur, Sitapur, Dhaurahra, Misrikh, Mohanlalganj, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Farukkhabad, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Kaiserganj, Domariyaganj, Shrawasti, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Lalganj, Ghosi, Jaunpur, Salempur, Bhadohi, Ghazipur and Machhlishahr.
Therefore, the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP will be engaged in a direct fight with the BJP top leadership in the state as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union ministers Maneka Gandhi and General VK Singh are the sitting MPs from Varanasi, Lucknow, Pilibhit and Ghaziabad respectively.
Earlier in January, once-arch rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Call it political compulsion or an eye on the maximum number of seats in General Elections 2019, the coming together of the two only proves the adage that in politics, there are no permanent friends or foes.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the SP had won five seats, while the BSP failed to win any seat. In the 2017 Assembly polls, the SP and the BSP got 22 per cent votes each. Come to 2019, if both the parties continue to have a say in their traditional vote bank, the combine can create hurdles for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).