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Alliance Announcement on Cards as Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati to Hold Joint Press Conference Tomorrow

According to BJP’s own calculations, an SP-BSP alliance may cost the party at least 25-30 seats in the state in the general elections.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:January 11, 2019, 1:03 PM IST
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Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati are all set to address a joint press conference on Saturday, the first after both the parties gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The press conference, to be held at Lucknow’s Hotel Taj at 12pm, is the first Yadav will address since his 2017 joint address with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for the assembly elections.

This will be exactly after 25 years that both the parties will be coming together to contest the elections against the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Earlier, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kanshi Ram had joined hands to contest the elections and registered a massive victory.

The announcement comes ahead of Mayawati’s birthday on January 15 though both the leaders are expected to share the stage on the day to give out a message of unity among their respective cadres. Yadav’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav also shares her birthday with the BSP chief.

Yadav and Mayawati had given their “in principle” approval to the alliance, which has shut its doors to the Congress in the state. Sources had told News18 that both SP and BSP are planning to contest on 37 seats each out of the 80 on offer in Uttar Pradesh and plan to leave just two – Rae Bareli and Amethi- the bastions of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for the Congress, an offer that the grand old party is unlikely to accept.

Akhilesh’s uncle and close aide Ram Gopal Yadav also all but confirmed that Congress will not be a part of the coalition with his statement on being asked about the Congress’ inclusion.

“Kaalpanik baatein kyun keh rahe ho? Aisa hai, gathbandhan ka matlab aap samajhiye aur apne aap samajh lijiye baaton ko. (Why are you talking about imaginary things? Understand the meaning of alliance and what is going on here),” he told a reporter.

According to BJP’s own calculations, an SP-BSP alliance may cost the party at least 25-30 seats in the state in the general elections. The BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in the 2014 parliamentary elections. The mahagathbandhan arithmetic had worked in the bypolls as a consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered joint opposition candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana last year.

Akhilesh, in fact, had accused the Centre of a “political witch-hunt” after reports that he may face a CBI probe in a case of illegal mining. The development came the same day the SP and Mayawati-led BSP indicated their intent to join hands in Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati had then called Akhilesh and asked him to “not be shaken by such gimmicks”, emphasising that she stood in his support. The BSP chief also alleged that like the Congress, the ruling BJP was "misusing" the government machinery to "trap" its opponents in false cases.

"The CBI raids and later the threat of quizzing by the CBI in a mining scam is nothing but political animosity of the BJP. Such petty politics and political conspiracy are not new for the BJP. The people of the country have understood it and they will teach the BJP a lesson in the Lok Sabha polls," she said in a press release.

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