New Delhi: In a public gesture that could be interpreted as a display of togetherness and solidarity between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, Dimple Yadav, the SP candidate from Kannauj and wife of party president Akhilesh Yadav, touched BSP chief Mayawati’s feet at a rally in her Lok Sabha seat on Thursday.
At a campaign rally in Kannauj, Yadav sought the BSP chief’s blessings at the stage before she addressed the crowd. The SP president also addressed the crowd and said, “The SP-BSP alliance will give a new Prime Minister to the country.”
SP and BSP have been bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh politics since the two prominent regional parties broke their alliance in 1995. SP president Yadav and Mayawati have repeatedly reiterated to their supporters and party workers that the parties are committed to working together and have addressed each other with respect.
In fact, when the SP-BSP alliance for the Lok Sabha elections was announced, Yadav had told his workers that Mayawati’s insult would be considered as his insult. In the most grand gesture yet, Maywati and former SP chief and UP Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav shared a stage last week after over two decades.
The two leaders have been considered to be bitter rivals since the infamous VIP guest house case of 1995 where Mayawati and other BSP MLAs were held hostage by SP workers after it became apparent that BSP were going to pull out of the SP alliance.
Mayawati and Mulayam, however, appeared to bury the hatched and praised each other at a campaign rally in Mainpuri, where Mulayam is contesting his final elections. Mayawati called Mulayam a “real leader”, while SP patriarch said he would never forget her gesture of campaigning for him.
Dimple Yadav, a sitting MP from Kannauj, had managed to win the seat despite a ‘Modi wave’ in 2014. In a seat where Muslims and Scheduled Castes forma bout 30 percent of the electorate, Yadav, who is up against BJP’s Subrat Pathak, is poised to be re-elected with the BSP’s backing.
Kannauj goes to poll in the fourth phase on April 29, along with Shahjahanpur, Kheri, Hardoi, Misrikh, Unnao, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Jhansi and Hamirpur.