After a long period of 25 years, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have again formed an alliance prior to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The coalition of these traditional rivals has left the other parties in surprise. On the issue of seat sharing, BSP supremo Mayawati said, “The BSP-SP will contest 38 seats each out of 80 seats. We are confident of defeating the BJP unless they tamper with the electronic voting machines”.
Earlier today, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati, in a joint press conference made the announcement about their alliance. In the press conference, SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav said, “Any insult to Mayawati is an insult to me”. Maintaining their stance on the BJP, Akhilesh said, “The BJP has made UP only about caste, farmers are committing suicide in increasing numbers, and people are being killed in encounters based on caste. This alliance will spell the end of cruelty”.
Mayawati too made allegations on the saffron party and said, “This press conference will give sleepless nights to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah”. But what caught everyone with surprise was her comment on the Congress party. Taking a jibe at the Grand Old party, BSP chief said, “Past experience tells me that the Congress cannot transfer votes to us. Maybe it’s a conspiracy of Congress to transfer votes to BJP. There’s no real gain from aligning with the Congress”. While the BSP-SP duo agreed to not field any candidate from the Amethi and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seats, Mayawati criticized the emergency imposed by the Congress in 1975 under Indira Gandhi’s leadership. Moreover, Amethi is represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Rae Bareli by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
However, the fear of BSP supremo in making coalition with the Congress party is as true as gospel. Prior to the assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh in 2017, SP formed an alliance with the Grand Old party but the coalition ended securing only 54 seats out of the total of 403. And the Congress party was confined on 7 seats only.
The last time when the duo of SP and BSP together contested an election was back in 1993. The coalition got the mandate but later in May 1995; BSP withdrew its support. The Mulayam Singh Yadav government collapsed and the infamous “Guesthouse Episode” then followed. On June 2, 1995, around 3 pm in the afternoon at Mirabai Guest House in Lucknow, the SP party workers attacked Mayawati. The BSP supremo was in a meeting with BSP MLAs in room no. 1 of the guest house. According to a Patrika report, Mayawati was severely beaten and abused by SP workers. Later, a BJP MLA Brahmdutt Dwivedi came to her rescue and saved her somehow. Though leaders of both the party claim that they have moved on, it will be interesting to see how the party workers mingle with each other.
Interestingly, Akhilesh and Mayawati coming together is nothing but a political gimmick. In order to woo the Muslim voters, both the parties, Samajwadi and Bahujan Samaj party seem to go to any extent. Though SP and BSP are making speculations that their alliance can bring together the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Dalit votes, but historically, Dalits (a stronghold of the BSP) and Yadavs (Stronghold of the SP) don’t go hand in hand together.