Is the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party — a pact between former rivals to contest 38 Lok Sabha seats apiece in Uttar Pradesh — a masterstroke? One SP lawmaker doesn’t sound quite convinced.
Hariom Yadav, the MLA from Sirsaganj, said the alliance wouldn’t work in Firozabad. (Sirsaganj is an assembly seat in the Firozabad Lok Sabha constituency.)
Hariom Yadav also said the alliance would work only as long as Akhilesh Yadav — the SP’s president — agreed to whatever BSP chief Mayawati said and bowed down to her.
At a joint press conference held on Saturday, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati annnounced their parties would join hands in this year’s general election. Together, they will contest 76 out of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 seats (the highest number of Lok Sabha seats for any Indian state).
The SP and the BSP will not field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli — Rahul and Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha seats. Two other seats may be given to the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
The Congress said it would contest all 80 seats on its own.
In 2014, the BJP and ally Apna Dal won 73 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Amit Shah, the BJP president, has pledged to do even better this year.
Hariom Yadav, the Samajwadi Party MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Sirsaganj, said the alliance between the SP and the BSP would work only as long as Akhilesh Yadav agreed to do whatever Mayawati said. The alliance was announced on Saturday by the two leaders, who are both former chief ministers. The Congress is not part of the alliance. It has said it will contest all Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh on its own.