Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati. (File photo)
New Delhi :
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has stitched a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, according to sources. Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) will also be a part of the anti-BJP alliance which excludes the Congress party. Akhilesh Yadav-led SP and Mayawati-led BSP have also finalised the seat-sharing formula for next year's general elections. According to the sources, the Samajwadi Party will contest 37 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party will fight on 38 of the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies. Three seats - Baghpat, Mathura, Kairana - will go to Ajit Singh's RLD. Singh is likely to contest from his stronghold Baghpat while his son Jayant Choudhary will once again contest from Mathura. BJP's Hema Malini had defeated Jayant from Mathura constituency in 2014.
The alliance, however, will not field its candidates on Amethi and Raebareli - the traditional seats of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Earlier, the Congress party was also supposed to be the part of the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh to keep the BJP out of the power. However, the Congress party was not happy with the number of seats Akhilesh and Mayawati were offering to it.
Seeing the Congress party's poor track record in Uttar Pradesh during the past few years, the SP and the BSP were not so keen to include the 'Grand Old Party' in the alliance and were offering only Gandhi bastions seats. Also, Mayawati and Akhilesh were not happy with the Congress party's announcement that Rahul Gandhi will be the party's prime ministerial candidate for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, denying such reports, Mayawati's top aid Satish Mishra told NDTV, "Till now whatever has come today in the newspaper or on TV, we don't know from where it has come, who is the source. There has been nothing like this, there are no discussions at this point".
The Opposition's bid to form an anti-BJP federal front hit roadblock after DMK president MK Stalin proposed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's name for the Opposition’s PM face. Opposition parties were of the view that the issue should only be addressed post-election. Reacting to Stalin's proposal, Akhilesh Yadav said that it was the personal opinion of the DMK chief and the alliance was not of the same view.
"People are unhappy with the BJP. Telangana CM, Mamataji and Sharad Pawarji had attempted to bring together all leaders to form an alliance. If someone is giving his opinion, it isn't necessary that alliance has the same opinion," ANI quoted Yadav as saying.
In 2014, the BJP had swept the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh by winning 71 of the 80 seats with a vote share of 42.30 per cent. Its ally Apna Dal also won 2 seats with almost 1 per cent of vote share. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress had won just five and two seats, respectively, while the BSP failed to open its account. With 22.20 per cent vote share, the Samajwadi Party came number two while the BSP and Congress were number three and four with 19.60 and 7.50 per cent vote share, respectively. The SP and the BSP together had 41.80 per cent of the vote share.
In 2017, the BJP had again decimated all the parties in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections by winning 312 of the 403 seats with a vote share of 39.7 per cent. Its allies Apna Dal and SBSP had won 9 and 4 seats respectively. The Apna Dal had got the vote share of 1 per cent, while the SBSP was able to get 0.7 per cent of the vote share. Together, the BJP-led NDA had received the support of 41.40 per cent of the voters. The SP had won 47 seats with a vote share of 22 per cent. The Congress in an alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led party had won only 7 seats with a vote share of 6.2 per cent. The BSP was able to win only 19 seats with a vote share of 22.2 per cent. The Ajit Singh-led RLD had won a single seat with a vote share of 1.8 per cent. If we add the vote shares of the three parties excluding the Congress then we will get the figure of 46 per cent, which was approximately more than 4.5 per cent of the BJP-led alliance's total vote share.