The BSP and the SP announced they will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

After UP, Mayawati and Akhilesh Join Hands in MP, Uttarakhand

The Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party on Monday, 25 February, announced they will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections together in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The two parties are already alliance partners in Uttar Pradesh for the general elections.

A statement signed jointly by Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati said, "Both have together decided to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in alliance in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand."

Under this alliance, the Samajwadi Party will contest three seats in Madhya Pradesh –Balaghat, Tikamgarh and Khajraho and in Gadhwal (Pauri) in Uttarakhand – while the BSP will contest on all the remaining seats, the statement released by the BSP said.

While Madhya Pradesh sends 29 members to the Lok Sabha, Uttarakhand accounts for 5 seats in the Lower House of Parliament.

Both the parties have joined hands for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh where the BSP will contest 38 seats while the SP will be vying for 37. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 80 Lok Sabha seats.

BSP to Contest in All 40 Seats in Bihar

In what may be seen as a blow to the disjointed anti-NDA front in Bihar, the Bahujan Samaj Party has decided to contest all 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state, a senior party functionary told PTI on Monday.

According to BSP state in-charge Lalji Medhkar, party supremo Mayawati has convened a meeting of all potential candidates and other office-bearers in the national capital later this week.

“Behenji has instructed us to start preparations for all the Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Detailed instructions are expected at the meeting in New Delhi on 28 February,” Medhkar told PTI.

The development comes at a time when the Mahagathbandhan, comprising RJD, Congress and an assortment of smaller parties is yet to finalise a seat-sharing formula more than two months after NDA did the same.

Although Medhkar did not elaborate much on the instructions received from Mayawati and any reasoning offered, her decision could be seen as a snub to the Congress which she has been cross with since the party’s refusal to enter into an alliance in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls.

It is widely believed that it was because of the BSP supremo’s insistence that the Congress was kept out of the formidable alliance her party has stitched with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, even though Akhilesh Yadav was reportedly not as averse to having its old ally on board.

The development also comes as a setback to the RJD’s attempts to get closer to the BSP, which would have helped Lalu Prasad’s party improve its standing among the Dalits in the state.

Notably, Prasad had come out with an offer of getting Mayawati elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar, since she did not have the requisite number of MLAs in the Assembly of her own state where the BJP stormed to power in the 2017 polls with a brute majority.

Yet another attempt was made by the RJD to win her over when, soon after Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav announced their tie-up, Prasad’s son and political heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav made a dash to Lucknow, tweeted pictures of his meeting with the BSP supremo whom he greeted by touching her feet and, weeks later, rejoiced at her advent on Twitter, claiming that it was he who had requested her to become active on social media.

Although not a force to reckon with in Bihar, where it polled a meagre 2.07 percent of the total votes in the 2015 Assembly polls and forfeited its deposit in all but three of the 228 constituencies it had fielded candidates from, the BSP could tilt the scales against the Mahagathbandhan in places where there is a tight contest and margins are likely to be small.