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BSP, SP announce tie-up for Lok Sabha elections, to contest 38 seats each in UP

 
SP-BSP alliance: Both parties to contest 38 seats each in UP
Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav today announced that the two parties had formed an alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that they would contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, making it clear that the Congress had no place in the equation.
 
Addressing a press conference here along with Yadav, Mayawati said the two parties had decided to split 76 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh equally between them.
 
Two seats had been kept for other parties in the alliance. The two parties also decided that, as in the past, they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the constituencies of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi so that the anti-BJP votes are not split.
 
Explaining why the two parties had decided to keep the Congress out of the alliance, Mayawati said that, for one thing, there was not much difference between it and the ruling BJP. She said the Congress had ruled India and Uttar Pradesh for long years after independence, but basic problems such as poverty, unemployment and so on remained.
 
She also said both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were involved in corrupt defence deals and cited the Bofors case of the 1980s during Congress rule and the ongoing Rafale controversy during the BJP's tenure.
 
She said the Congress had trampled upon the rights of people during the Emergency it had imposed in 1975 and felt things were not very different under the BJP now with an "undeclared emergency".
 
Mayawati also said that the past experience of the BSP and SP showed that they did not gain much from an alliance with the Congress. While they were able to transfer their votes to Congress candidates, the Congress was not able to ensure the transfer of its votes to the BSP or SP candidates, she said.  
 
"While the Congress gained from such an alliance, we ended up losing on polling percentage," she said.
 
"We will not ally with the Congress or other such parties which are unable to transfer their votes to us," she said.
 
Mayawati began the press conference by stating that her party had always worked for the downtrodden as had the SP. She also recalled that the BSP founder, the late Kanshi Ram, and then SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav -- the father of Akhilesh Yadav -- had forged a similar alliance in 1993, which had proved to be a success.
 
She said the alliance would leave no stone unturned to ensure the defeat of the BJP and its allies in the coming Lok Sabha elections. She accused the BJP of pursuing a casteist and communal agenda, on the one hand, and of acting in an arrogant, arbitrary and dictatorial manner, on the other.
 
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Mayawati said there was a need for such an alliance today to combat the allegedly toxic politics practised by the BJP in the country and bring about a political and socio-economic revolution. She said they would work for the benefit of the downtrodden, the poor, the vulnerable and all sections of people, including Dalits, tribals, women, youth, farmers, workers, small traders and minorities.
 
She claimed there was widespread anger and disappointment against the BJP among the youth and other sections, who had been affected by the government's measures and policies such as demonetisation and poor implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST).
 
She recalled that the BSP and SP had come together to put up a joint fight against the BJP in recent bye-elections in Uttar Pradesh and won most of them, which pointed to the efficacy of the alliance. She also pointed out that the Congress candidates had lost their deposits in those bye-elections.
 
"We will prevent the BJP from winning any seat in Uttar Pradesh," she said.
 
Mayawati said details of which party will contest from which constituency would be announced in due course.
 
Yadav said all sections of people were facing oppression under the present regime and mentioned problems such as joblessness and the agrarian crisis, which had led to increasing numbers of suicides. He said that the state government in Uttar Pradesh was dividing people along caste and communal lines and accused the police of staging fake encounter deaths.
 
He said the BJP was doing all this to deflect attention from its government's failures at the Centre and in the state, and accused it of creating an atmosphere of fear and terror. 
 
Yadav said the BSP and SP would work together to defeat the BJP and end the injustices that people were suffering from under its rule. "Such an alliance is necessary to end the arrogance of the BJP," he said.
 
Mayawati said the BSP-SP alliance would rob Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah of their sleep.
 
Political observers feel that the coming together of the BSP and SP could pose major problems for the BJP in UP, where it had 71 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general elections.
 
Both Mayawati and Yadav are former Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh.
 
NNN

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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