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Miffed with Congress, Mayawati says no to alliance with grand old party

BSP chief Mayawati had earlier called for a national level tie-up between her party and the Congress. (AFP)Premium
BSP chief Mayawati had earlier called for a national level tie-up between her party and the Congress. (AFP)

  • The announcement made by the BSP chief not only signals the further isolation of Congress but also to a lack of understanding between her and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav
  • According the present seat-sharing arrangement, BSP is expected to contest at least 38 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, while SP will contest 37 and RLD three

NEW DELHI : Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Tuesday shut the alliance door on the Congress party for the Lok Sabha elections, scotching speculation on the possibility of a potential electoral alliance or understanding, particularly in Uttar Pradesh.

The announcement made by the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister not only signals the further isolation of Congress but also to a lack of understanding between her and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav. The latter has often reiterated that the Congress is part of a grand alliance that includes SP, BSP and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

“It has been reiterated once again that Bahujan Samaj Party will not have any alliance with the Congress party in any state, to contest the upcoming elections," BSP chief Mayawati said in a statement.

According the present seat-sharing arrangement between the SP, BSP and RLD, Mayawati’s party is expected to contest at least 38 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, while SP will contest 37 and Ajit Singh’s RLD three. The grand alliance has decided not to field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli against Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former party president Sonia Gandhi, respectively.

“There are no talks happening between Congress and members of the grand alliance. We have given two seats to Congress and there is no discussion to give more seats to Congress. It is the SP and BSP which are fighting the main political battle against BJP in Uttar Pradesh. Congress is a marginal player," said a senior SP leader based in Lucknow.

Mayawati has been annoyed with the Congress party ever since senior Congress leaders decided not to form an alliance with the BSP in last year’s assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Mayawati was keen to join hands with the Congress in all three states and had cautioned the party leadership that there should be a national level tie-up between the BSP and Congress which was not limited to Uttar Pradesh.

“We have already said and our top leaders have reiterated that we are contesting Lok Sabha elections alone. Everyone has a right to contest elections on their own or in alliances of their choice. However, the real issue is having a common agenda on talking about the policy failures of the Union government," said Anshu Awasthi, Congress leader and spokesperson of its Uttar Pradesh state unit.

anuja@livemint.com

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