News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

Mayawati says no alliance with SP for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but hints at 'deal' for Rajya Sabha

BSP supremo Mayawati today ruled out any electoral alliance with SP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Mayawati says no alliance with SP for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but hints at 'deal' for Rajya Sabha

Lucknow: Putting all speculations to rest, Bahajun Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Sunday ruled out any alliance between her party and the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a press briefing in the Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow, Mayawati said, ''I want to clarify that BSP has not allied with any political party.''

''All rumours about BSP ánd SP alliance in UP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections are false and baseless,'' the BSP supremo said.

However, she said that both BSP and SP have entered into an arrangement wherein the former will support the latter's candidate for the upcoming bypolls in Phulpur Lok Sabha and Gorakhpur assembly constituencies.

''We have not floated any candidate for Lok Sabha Phulpur and Gorakhpur by-polls. Our party members will exercise their vote to defeat BJP candidate,'' Mayawati said.

Hinting at a deal with Akhilesh Yadav's party, Mayawati said, ''We have spoken to SP and have decided that we will support their Lok Sabha candidate during the voting and SP will support our Rajya Sabha candidate in return,” she said.

''Transfer of votes from SP to BSP and the vice-versa for Rajya Sabha and Vidhan Parishad elections to decimate BJP does not imply any electoral alliance between the two parties,'' Mayawati said. 

The clarification from Mayawati came at a time when there was an intense speculation that her party BSP has extended its support to Samajwadi Party (SP) for the upcoming by-polls in both Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies.

Earlier this morning, BSP in-charge Ghanshyam Chandra Kharwar declared support to Gorakhpur SP candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad and Phulpur SP candidate Nagendra Singh Patel.

"Our workers want to eliminate Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) and that is why the members of BSP have decided to extend support and vote for SP candidate Nagendra Singh Patel in Phulpur by-poll," Ashok Gautam, BSP Zonal Coordinator, Allahabad was quoted as saying by ANI.

However, earlier in the day, SP leader Sunil Singh Yadav said that the Mayawati-led party does not contest by-polls.

"All I know is BSP does not contest by-elections. At both places where by-elections are being held, SP will give a strong fight to defeat the BJP," Yadav said.

Given their present strength, BSP, SP and Congress, at present, can send two candidates to the Rajya Sabha from UP.

BSP has 19 seats, SP 47 and Congress six. After the SP ensures that one of its candidates makes it to the Upper House, the party will be left with a surplus of 13-14 votes, which adding to BSP’s could make sure of Mayawati’s Parliamentary re-entry.

The move is also indicative of a fresh attempt to form an anti-BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

In Gorakhpur — a seat represented by Yogi Adityanath for five consecutive terms — the Samajwadi Party has fielded Praveen Kumar Nishad, the son of Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad, as its candidate. Nishad will take on the BJP’s Upendra Shukla and Congress leader Surhita Chatterjee Karim.

In Phulphur, the Samajwadi Party has fielded Nagendra Singh Patel, an OBC leader. Patel will contest against BJP candidate and fellow OBC leader Kaushlendra Singh Patel, who has also been Varanasi mayor. The Congress has fielded Manish Mishra for this seat.

Voting for both bypolls will be held on March 11, while counting of votes will be held on March 14.

(With ANI inputs)