Lucknow: Celebrating her 65th birthday, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Friday asserted that her party would not enter into an alliance with any other party to contest the next state assembly elections in both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
This birthday resolution will be welcomed by the BJP, which could have faced a challenging time had the BSP decided to once again shake hands with the Samajwadi Party (SP) to put up a formidable opposition.
Mayawati also praised the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation and the Narendra Modi government for starting COVID-19 vaccinations across the country.
“My party will contest each and every seat in UP and in Uttarakhand, when the two states go to the polls in 2022, but we do not intend to ally with any other party and will go it alone,” she said in a statement issued to ANI.
Her assertion to going it alone in the next state poll comes amidst speculation that the BSP would strike a deal with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), which is looking for a poll partner to contest the next UP state elections. Emboldened by his success in Bihar, where his party bagged five seats, Owasi is all set to test the waters in UP, where he hopes to make a mark.
In the 2017 election, the BSP won only 19 of the 403 assembly seats in UP. It performed better when it allied with the BSP in 2019, bagging 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Significantly, BSP had not won a single seat from the state during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Yet, Mayawati decided to break the alliance with the Samajwadi Party and by asserting her stand to contest alone in 2022, she is closing all doors for any rapprochement.
On the contrary, Mayawati had the BJP’s support in getting her party nominee win the Rajya Sabha poll in October last. This led SP president Akhilesh Yadav being upstaged, as his nominee got voted out in the process despite his party having higher representation in the assembly.
Even as she has been lying low and avoiding any direct confrontation with the ruling BJP, the BSP chief claimed that her party would form the next state government in UP. “Just as we succeeded in forming the government in 2007, we will do it again in 2022”, she declared. “To regain lost ground, the BSP plans to win back the support of Brahmins, backward classes and Muslims,” she added.
To top it all, she even went to the extent of promising “free vaccine” to everyone once she was back in power. For the time being, she appealed to the BJP government to provide the vaccine “free of cost to all citizens”.
She had instructed members of the party to celebrate her birthday as jan kalyankari diwas in a simple manner, reminding them to follow the COVID-19 guidelines.
Earlier, through a series of tweets, Mayawati had urged her party workers to “assist the poor and underprivileged who had to face acute hardships on account of the pandemic.”
Her birthday was observed by BSP workers in each of the state’s 75 districts, where she told the workers to help migrants, farmers, labourers and others who had been adversely affected by the economic slowdown.
Friday’s celebrations were in sharp contrast to the big bash that used to be thrown on her birthdays when she was in power. Interestingly, Mayawati’s birthday used to be observed as “arthik sahyog diwas” (financial support day). Not just party functionaries, but event government officials were apparently asked to ‘collect funds’ for the celebrations.