Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday said that he is ready to join hands with his arch-rival and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati if RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav mediates in this regard.
“If Lalu is ready to mediate, then I will consider joining hands with Mayawati,” SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
The SP chief was responding to Lalu Prasad Yadav`s recent suggestion that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Maywati should also joined hands in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP in the same way as he has allied with his bitter foe Nitish Kumar`s Janata Dal (U) in Bihar.
The coming together of two traditional arch-rivals can mark a new beginning in the caste-driven politics of Uttar Pradesh, where the SP is currently in power .
However, the BSP has reacted cautiously to the news.
BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria said people of UP will never forgive SP for their misrule and asked Mulayam`s party to apologize for this.
BSP chief Mayawati will decide on future, he said.
The BJP, meanwhile, reacted sharply to the development.
"Chor Chor Mausere Bhai," UP BJP leader Laxmikant Bajpai said responding to the prospect of SP and BSP joining hands.
"We could sense from BSP MLAs behaviour in UP assembly that they are ready to be B-team of SP," he said.
Ending weeks of speculation, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar last week came together and launched a joint campaign for the August 21 by-election to 10 assembly seats in Bihar.
The two former chief ministers shared stage after nearly 23 years, marking the beginning of a new phase in the politics of the state.
Lalu attacked the NDA govt and took digs at Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally at Hajipur with Nitish Kumar.
The two leaders also attacked LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and called him an opportunist for allying with the BJP.
Lalu also hoped that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Maywati also joined hands in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP.
Nitish Kumar, who had parted ways with Lalu in 1994 and succeeded in dethroning him in Bihar in 2005 in alliance with BJP, said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre knows that it cannot fulfil the tall promises it has made and will resort to spreading religious passion to cling to power.
"They can run government. They cannot run the country. Did `achchhe din (good days)` come?" he asked, referring to BJP`s slogan during elections.
"Achchhe din will never come. But they have come for some people in BJP. In fact, their `apne din (own days)` have come," said Kumar, who split with BJP last year over his opposition to Modi`s elevation as prime ministerial candidate of BJP, and quit as chief minister after his party JD(U) was routed in the recent Lok Sabha polls.
BJP, meanwhile, played down the coming together of the two regional leaders.
JD(U), RJD and Congress have formed a `grand alliance` to defeat the BJP in the bypoll.
It was in 1991 Lok Sabha polls that Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar were last seen together in campaigning. Nitish Kumar, who had contested from Barh constituency then, had lost.
Their alliance was announced on July 30 and their leaders said the move was necessary to strengthen secular forces and to defeat communal parties.
JD(U) and RJD, which parted ways in 1994, came together after the BJP swept the recent Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.