The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by former Chief Minister Mayawati has turned down Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s proposal for a grand alliance in the state, where the BJP is a strong contender in the Assembly elections due in 2017.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Mourya said there was no question of any alliance with the ruling Samajwadi Party as the BSP’s main agenda is to oust what he called the “goonda raj” of the current regime. The BSP is also determined to corner the “communal forces”, he said, alluding to the BJP.
“The situation in Bihar was different. All anti-BJP forces came together to fight jointly in the election, leading to a handsome victory of the Grand Alliance of JDU, RJD and the Congress. In Uttar Pradesh, however, our main concern is to fight the goon culture of the SP. The law and order situation has hit the nadir. At the same time, we will fight the communal forces,” Mourya said.
Akhilesh Yadav had recently said that an alliance on the lines of the one in Bihar was possible in UP to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, which bagged 73 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in last year’s Lok Sabha elections. UP minister Fareed Mahfooz Kidwai also suggested an alliance between the SP and the BSP in the Assembly elections.
Commenting on this, senior state BJP leader and spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak said: “This shows panic in the SP camp. Otherwise, why would they propose such an alliance? SP is losing ground in UP and, therefore, looking for a coalition.”
He said that there is likely to be a three-way contest among the SP, BJP and BSP in the Assembly elections.
Pathak said that despite playing a pivotal role in the making of the Grand Alliance in Bihar, the SP had to leave the alliance.
“They started the process but left just before the Bihar Assembly elections. They not only pulled out of the Grand Alliance, but also fielded candidates against them and thus tried to hurt it. Now they are talking about a similar grand alliance,” he said.
In 1993, the SP and BSP had forged an alliance and had come to power with Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chief Minister. However, the alliance did not last long.
In mid-1995, Mayawati withdrew support from the government.