Lucknow: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said that the BJP has taught him the art of making friends, a day after he met Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati to confirm the alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “I thank BJP for teaching me how to make friends,”the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was quoted by a leading daily as saying.

He added, “We were defeated in the assembly elections in 2017 despite a lot of development work that I did for UP. My government worked very hard to take the state on the path of progress but we lost as the poll equation went wrong.” Through the alliance, a close aide of Akhilesh reportedly said that equal and amicable distribution of seats will take place between the two parties.

Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that both Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have agreed to an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.  Speaking to PTI, SP’s national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said, “A formal announcement on the gathbandhan between the two key parties in Uttar Pradesh is likely later this month.”

Sharing some pictures of the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav on Friday tweeted, “A meeting with eager and enthusiastic cadres to change the country-state picture in Lok Sabha elections.”

The meeting was to wish each other for the new year, said Akhilesh. He stated that the BSP and Samajwadi Party would respect each other and contest on seats accordingly in the election. The SP-BSP coalition would take Uttar Pradesh to greater heights in terms of development and progress under the leadership of a new Prime Minister following the general elections, added Akhilesh Yadav.

He also hit out at Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government and claimed that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister is inaugurating only those projects which were initiated by him.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Hero Bajpai said that the alliance is ‘opportunistic’ and ‘completely anti-people’.

(With Agency inputs)