SP-BSP divorce, but ensure there is no bitterness
Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday put the seal of approval on the break-up of the SP-BSP alliance when he said that his party will contest all 11 seats where Assembly by-elections are to be held in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier in the day, BSP President Mayawati had announced at a press conference that her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would contest the upcoming Assembly by-elections alone.
Mayawati said she was taking a break from her partnership with the SP.
"It is not a permanent break," she explained, asking the Samajwadi Party to bring about improvement in the conduct of its cadre.
She said that the Yadav voters had not supported the alliance.
"If Yadavs had voted in full measure for the alliance, senior SP leaders like Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav would not have lost from Yadav-dominated seats. This is a matter of concern for the Samajwadi Party," she said.
The BSP President clarified that her party did not benefit with the base vote of the Samajwadi Party.
In the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, the SP and BSP contested 37 and 38 seats respectively and won 5 and 10.
In the run up to the elections, both parties had declared that the alliance will continue even after the Lok Sabha battle.
On Sunday, Mayawati had given clear indications at a party meeting in Delhi that the alliance with SP was almost over.
The BSP President, in a shrewd move, said that her relations with Akhilesh Yadav and his family would remain intact and if the situation in SP improved, she could do some rethinking on the alliance.
Akhilesh Yadav, on the hand, did not comment directly on Mayawati's statement but said the SP would form its own government in Uttar Pradesh in 2022 when Assembly elections are to be held.
This is being seen as an indication of the SP also going alone in the Assembly polls.
"I will consult my party leaders and then decide. We are going to contest the by-elections and form a government in 2022," he said.
After the SP's election debacle, party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav had asked Akhilesh Yadav to revive the party by bringing back senior elders who had left. He also hinted at bringing back Shivpal Yadav who had formed his own party.
Mayawati on Monday blamed Shivpal Yadav for the poor show of the SP and had said that he transferred Yadav votes to the BJP.
Though the SP-BSP break-up was expected after the Lok Sabha elections, the unexpected change this time is that Mayawati has shown her softer side by appreciating Akhilesh Yadav and his family and insisting that the personal relationship between the two former Chief Ministers will continue.
Informed sources claim that this was part of her strategy to keep the SP in good humour and leave a window open for future possibilities. IANS