New Delhi: With the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party agreeing to an alliance in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the two parties have decided to contest an equal number of seats, possibly 37 each.
According to the Indian Express, the BSP and SP have decided to keep some seats open for non-dominant caste parties, with the BSP and SP contesting 37 seats each, leaving the remaining six for allies. This may include the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Congress.
Regarding the possible inclusion of Congress in the UP alliance, Chaudhary said, “This will be decided by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.”
However, he also added the SP and the BSP will not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, leaving these Lok Sabha constituencies for Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi.
Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
A formal announcement on the “gathbandhan” between the two opposition parties may take place later this month.
“There has been an in-principle approval for the gathbandhan. And there is a possibility that an announcement in this regard will be made this month,” Chaudhary said, adding that a “number of meetings between SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have already been held. Yesterday too, both leaders met in Delhi,” he said
UP Congress chief Raj Babbar argued there had been no announcement after the meeting between the presidents of the two parties, and it was not for him to comment on it. “We are yet to get any instructions or directions from our central leadership,” he told PTI.
Recently, Akhilesh Yadav expressed displeasure against the Congress for not including its lone MLA in the new Madhya Pradesh ministry headed by Kamal Nath, BSP leader Mayawati too had said she would withdraw her outside support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan if the cases against Dalits lodged during a protest last year are not withdrawn.
The UP BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai the alliance “opportunistic” and “completely anti-people” He added that “the BJP will register massive wins in UP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,”
In the past year, opposition parties defeated the ruling BJP in three Lok Sabha by-polls. In the Kairana Lok Sabha by-elections in May, the BJP lost to the joint opposition candidate, RLD’s Tabassum Hasan who was supported by the Congress, the SP and the BSP. The Kairana seat had fallen vacant following the death of the BJP candidate Mriganka Singh’s father Hukum Singh. In March, the BJP lost the Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
In the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the BJP won 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh, securing 42.63% of the votes while BJP ally Apna Dal bagged two more.
The Samajwadi Party won five seats with a vote share of 22.35% while the BSP did not win any seat while securing 19.77% votes. Congress registered wins in two UP seats in 2014, bagging 7.53% of the votes.
(With agency inputs)