New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) seat-sharing announcement in Uttar Pradesh, in a run-up to Lok Sabha Elections 2019, is likely to be made on Saturday during a joint presser in Lucknow by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, the respective party chiefs. While, both the leaders have kept the cards on Congress’s inclusion in the ‘gathbandhan’ closed till date, reports have claimed that smaller parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Nishad Party will be a part of the alliance.
The joint press conference is likely to be held at Taj Hotel in Lucknow around noon. The venue is the same where Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav had announced an alliance between the Congress and SP for 2017 Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, a day ahead of the announcement, the Congress asserted that ignoring the party in the politically crucial state can be a ‘very dangerous mistake’. Senior party leader and spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the objective of all opposition parties should be to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and eliminate ‘autocracy, misgovernance’ at the Centre.
Responding to a question on the possible SP-BSP alliance, Singhvi said, “I don’t think anybody should underestimate the strength, extent and reach and vote share, presence and support of the Congress in a state like Uttar Pradesh. We may have fallen on difficult times. But I think to ignore us can prove to be a very dangerous mistake. Since everybody realises that, I think we will have a happy and harmonious solution sometime in the near future.”
If media reports are to be believed, both the parties have reportedly decided on an equal seat-sharing formula in the crucial state. The SP-BSP would field candidates from 37 seats each, leaving just six seats for the other players of the alliance, including the Congress.
On January 6, the Samajwadi Party chief had announced that the details on seat-sharing with Mayawati will be declared in a week. Speaking on the possibility of the Congress joining the alliance, he had said, “The two leaders of the ‘gathbandhan’ have to decide whether Congress will be there or not.
A few days after Akhilesh Yadav’s announcement, BJP president Amit Shah mocked the ‘bua-bhatija‘ alliance of the parties. Speaking at party’s convention in the national capital on Friday, Shah stated, “They (Mayawati and Akhilesh)could not stand each other but have now joined hands due to the fear of the BJP.”
A couple of days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also attacked the two parties for coming together. Launching an indirect attack on BSP-SP, PM Modi, while speaking in Agra had said, “Rivals are coming together just to oppose us. Political rivals who did not even like to look at each other are now coming together just to oppose us.”