Mayawati, Akhilesh to fight Uttar Pradesh by-polls separately

Eleven assembly by-polls are due in Uttar Pradesh after as many MLAs won the Lok Sabha polls and went to Parliament

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Lucknow: The opposition ‘gathbandhan’ in Uttar Pradesh looked all set to unravel on Tuesday, with BSP head Mayavatideclaring that her party would fight the Assembly by-polls alone and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadavresponding promptly to say he would do the same.

In a statement 10 days after the defeat of the alliance in the Lok Sabha election, Mayawati said she could work with the SP in future if Yadav were to be able to “fulfil his duties”.

Reacting to the statement, Yadav told reporters in Lucknow, “Even if our paths separate from here, we welcome it.”

“If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates on all 11 seats up for bypolls after consulting party leaders soon,” Yadav said.

Mayawati said that the BSP’s relationship with the SP was not going to end. She said she would try to ensure the relationship stayed intact.

“On the other hand, political compulsions cannot be ignored completely and everyone knows that,” the BSP chief told the media in the nationalcapital.

The BJP won 62 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh while the gathbandhan bagged just 15, with the BSP winning 10 of them and the SP five. The Congress got one seat and the Apna Dal (S) two. In 2014, the BSP could not manage even one seat.

Eleven assembly by-polls are due in Uttar Pradesh after as many MLAs won the Lok Sabha polls and went to Parliament. While nine BJP MLAs emerged victorious in the Lok Sabha polls, one each from the BSP and SP were elected to the Lower House.

“The by-polls can be announced any moment now. Under the current conditions, in Uttar Pradesh, we have decided to fight the by-polls, which will happen on some seats, all alone,” Mayawati said.

“If I feel that the SP president is able to fulfil his duties and his people work with missionary zeal, we can still work together in the future. There has been no permanent breakdown as of now.” If he is unable to succeed in his task, it will be better for the party to walk alone, she added.

The BSP chief had called a review meeting in New Delhi on Monday to analyse the Lok Sabha results. “I have to say with much sadness that the SP’s base vote — the ‘Yadav Samaj’ — has not stood along with the gathbandhan even in areas where they are in high numbers,” Mayawati said.

“… Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, and Ram Gopal Yadav have lost elections from Kannauj, Badaun and Firozabad, respectively, and it has made us think a lot,” Mayawati added.

Akhilesh Yadav responded to Mayawati’s take on the Lok Sabha election and Assembly by-polls by saying if the alliance must end, the SP is ready to go it alone in the by-polls.