New Delhi :
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav on Friday shared the dais at historic Mahagathbandhan rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri after 24 years. During the rally, the foe-turned-friends showered praises upon each other with Mulayam urging his supporters to have respect for Mayawati. The BSP chief also mentioned the infamous "guest house episode" in 1995 when she was attacked by SP workers. The incident created animosity between Mayawati and Mulayam and with today’s rally, the decades-old enmity ended.
"People want to know why I had entered an alliance despite my past equations with Mulayam Singh ji and the state guest house episode. But sometimes, we have to take tough decisions for the sake of the country and people," Mayawati said while addressing the rally.
Urging people to vote for Mulayam, the BSP chief said that unlike Modi, Mulayam is a real backward, who united all the sections of the society. "Mulayam Singh ji is a real Backward, unlike PM Modi, who is a fake one and projected his upper caste as a lower one just for votes. I appeal to the people to vote for Mulayam Singh Yadav who is the true leader of the backward classes," she said.
Earlier, the SP patriarch thanked Mayawati for coming to seek votes for him and asked Samajwadi Party supporters and workers to always respect her. “Today, Mayawati Ji has come and I welcome her and respect her. Always respect Mayawati ji as she has helped us whenever we needed. I am happy she came here in my support,” Mulayam said.
Terming the day as “historic”, SP president and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said he was hopeful that people will vote in favour of his father Mulayam Singh in large numbers after Mayawati’s appeal to them.
“This is a historic moment. Mayawati has appealed to voters to help Mulayam Singh Yadav to win and I am sure that Mainpuri will vote for Mulayam in record numbers,” the SP chief said.
Earlier, Mulayam Singh was not happy with the SP-BSP alliance and had even skipped several joint rallies citing health conditions. However, to ensure the smooth tranfer of votes, Akhilesh Yadav convinced him to share the stage with Mayawati wherever the gathbandhan has fielded joint candidates.