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Respecting Maya Same as Respecting Me: Akhilesh Yadav's Bid to Unite Cadres Divided by Caste

Explaining the reason behind the alliance, Akhilesh Yadav said that both the parties will contest elections together to fight against the communal hatred spread by the BJP.


Updated:January 13, 2019, 11:14 AM IST
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Respecting Maya Same as Respecting Me: Akhilesh Yadav's Bid to Unite Cadres Divided by Caste
File photo of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav. (PTI)

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, while announcing the alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), attempted to unite the cadres of both parties, who are otherwise divided on caste lines as well as in social circles.

“Respecting Mayawati is same as respecting me,” said Yadav on Saturday in the press conference in Lucknow.

The message was more for SP party workers, the majority of who belong to the Yadav community. On the other hand, Mayawati has a strong hold over Jatavs and other Dalit classes. Coming together of these caste groups in the form of party cadres is unlike them, and thus the need for Akhilesh’s message.

The alliance decided to contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, which is, according to them, expected to decide the fate of Narendra Modi in the General Elections later this year. The alliance has left two seats for the Congress party, the traditional Gandhi dynasty bastions of Rae Bareili and Amethi.

In 1995, Mayawati decided to withdraw her support from the Mulayam Singh government in the state. The decision came after a series of conflicts between the two parties which had formed the government with support from the Congress. That fateful day, a leader from SP attempted to assault Mayawati at the VVIP house, Meerabai Guest House, in Lucknow where she was meeting MLAs from her party. And it was the BJP MLA from Farukkabad, Brahma Dutt Dwivedi, who had come to her rescue.

BJP took Mayawati to Governor House, extended support to BSP, and Mayawati took oath as CM the next morning.”

There are different accounts of what transpired that day. It is said by many that the goons from the Samajwadi party locked Mayawati in a room and thrashed her.

That incident sparked an animosity that lasted over two decades until Narendra Modi came to power. Mayawati has made no secret of her animosity towards Akhilesh’s father, Mulayam. In 2012, when Akhilesh succeeded her as Chief Minister, he promised an investigation into alleged financial irregularities during Mayawati’s government.

Explaining the reason behind the alliance, Yadav said both the parties will contest elections together to fight against the communal hatred spread by the BJP. "To defeat the arrogance of the BJP, it was necessary for the BSP and the SP to come together. The BJP can go to any extent to create differences in our workers, we must be united and counter any such tactic," Yadav said.

This would be the first time in 26 years that SP and BSP will fight the elections jointly. Last time, it happened in 1993, when Samajwadi Party veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram came together.

On 8 March, 2018, a day after hoardings carrying photos of Mayawati, Akhilesh, Kanshi Ram and Mulayam together came up outside Samajwadi Party headquarters, Akhilesh had said that the two developments (hoardings and portraits) carried the message that party workers want the two parties to come together.

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