The word which used to evoke a smile from SP president Akhilesh Yadav till the other day, is now being detested by him. On Tuesday, Akhilesh rebuked reporters for uttering ‘bua’ (a reference to Mayawati) while seeking his reply to the BSP supremo’s announcement to contest the forthcoming state Assembly bypolls alone.
“You are a journalist… You shouldn’t say bua,” Akhilesh told reporters in Ghazipur, where he visited the family of the SP worker Vijay Yadav, who was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the district a few days ago. His remarks came on a day, when both the SP and the BSP declared to go solo in the bypolls.
The two parties had allied to contested the Lok Sabha polls but could win only 15 of the 80 seats. The BJP, during the campaigning in the just concluded general elections, referred to Akhilesh and Mayawati as ‘bua-bhatija’ (aunt-nephew) and ‘bua-babua (aunt-baby).
SP-BSP Honeymoon Over
Mayawati led BSP will contest the by-polls on 11 assembly constituencies alone. This means that the Mahagathbandhan has fallen apart for all practical purposes.
Mayawati on 3 June 2019 blamed her party’s alliance with the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Loktantrik Dal for the rout in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls that saw the Gathbandhan failing to get the desired result. This comes just five months after both parties had said that their alliance was “permanent”, and would be alive for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections.
In January, old rivals SP and BSP had announced a pre-poll alliance to take on the BJP in UP, deciding to contest 38 seats each out of UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seats. The Gandhi family’s traditional bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli were to be left for the Congress, while two seats were to be given to other local parties.
Akhilesh and Mayawati, in a joint press conference to announce their alliance, had declared that the tie-up between the rivals was to be a “permanent one”, and that it would carry on up to and beyond the 2022 state assembly elections. In the weeks that followed, Ajit Singh’s RLD entered the alliance and was given three seats, with one taken away from the SP’s quota and the two earmarked for local parties.
The gathbandhan was relying on a strategic caste arithmetic, given that UP’s population contains 40 per cent OBCs, 20 per cent Dalits and 19 per cent Muslims. It was banking on the transfer of the SP’s Yadav-Muslim vote bank to the BSP and the latter’s Dalit vote bank to the former. The addition of the RLD was expected to bring in the Jat votes, especially in western UP.
However, the allies failed to transfer their vote-banks on a number of seats, resulting in the SP winning just five seats — the same number as 2014 — while the BSP went from zero to 10. They could only bring down the BJP and its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal)’s tally to 64 from their combined 2014 mark of 73.
What do you think about this? Tell us in the comments section and stay connected with Awaaznation for all updates.