Mayawati sounds end of alliance with Samajwadi Party

Mayawati may have ended the BSP-SP alliance so she could promote her brother as the candidate for chief minister in 2022

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow
  • Published 25.06.19, 6:54 AM
  • Updated 25.06.19, 6:54 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati at an election rally in Azamgarh on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (PTI)

Mayawati on Monday announced that the Bahujan Samaj Party would contest all future elections alone, sounding the end of the alliance with the Samajwadi Party a day after appointing family members to top party posts.

“The SP’s behaviour after the Lok Sabha elections has forced the BSP to consider whether it’s possible to defeat the BJP in future by acting like this. It’s not,” Mayawati tweeted in Hindi, without explaining what the ally had done wrong.

She added: “In the interest of the party and the movement, therefore, the BSP will contest all future elections, small and big, on its own.”

On Sunday, Mayawati had appointed her brother Anand Kumar as the party’s national vice-president and her nephew Akash Anand as its national coordinator.

A political observer suggested she may have ended the alliance so she could promote her brother — rather than Samajwadi chief Akhilesh Yadav — as the candidate for chief minister during the 2022 Assembly polls.

“The alliance with the Samajwadis was based on the deal that Akhilesh would support her for the Prime Minister’s post after the 2019 general election while she would help him become chief minister in 2022,” he said.

“Her national hopes dashed, she now wants a family member as chief minister so that she can focus on national politics and pursue her dream of becoming Prime Minister in future.”

Sources said Mayawati had told a party meeting in Lucknow on Sunday that Akhilesh had not contacted her after the alliance’s debacle in the Lok Sabha elections (the BSP and the Samajwadis won 10 and 5 seats, respectively, out of the state’s 80).

A BSP source further claimed that Mayawati had told Sunday’s meeting that Akhilesh had tried to persuade her before the elections to deny tickets to Muslims and avoid polarising Hindu votes in the BJP’s favour. Eventually, Muslims accounted for 6 of the BSP’s 38 nominees and 3 of its 10 winners.

Before Sunday’s meeting, Mayawati had got senior BSP politicians, including the 10 new MPs, to stand in a queue and surrender their mobile phones, keys and watches at a counter. Still, her alleged comments against Akhilesh were leaked.

She claimed in a tweet on Monday that what the media had said about Sunday’s meeting was “not completely true”.

In another tweet, she claimed that for the sake of the larger interest of the country and the etiquette of coalitions, she had in the recent past decided to forget the anti-BSP and anti-Dalit decisions that Akhilesh’s government had taken between 2012 and 2017.

She added that law and order had been poor under Akhilesh, and that he had ignored the policy of reservation in promotions (which Mayawati had implemented as chief minister between 2007 and 2012).

Mayawati had sounded the first alert about a possible parting of ways by telling a June 4 party meeting in Delhi that the BSP would contest all the 11 upcoming Assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh.

She had said she would decide the future of the alliance after ascertaining whether the Samajwadis had mended their ways. “The core vote of the Samajwadis, particularly the Yadavs, didn’t stand by SP candidates even in seats where they were in the majority. They ditched and damaged the SP,” she had said.

“The defeats of Dimple Yadav (wife of Akhilesh) in Kannauj, Dharmendra Yadav (cousin of Akhilesh)… forced me to rethink the alliance.”