Former Uttar Pradesh minister Shivpal Yadav has reacted to the announcement of an anti-BJP alliance in the state between Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati. Mr Yadav – who quit the Samajwadi Party after a falling out with nephew Akhilesh Yadav and formed a new outfit – called the alliance incomplete without him in its fold.
“This alliance is incomplete without PSP-L (his party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia). Only a secular front can defeat the BJP,” Mr Yadav said.
Shivpal Yadav, who had been a power centre in Uttar Pradesh politics, had a fallout with his nephew. However, he is considered close to Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is his political mentor. He recently said he wanted him to contest Lok Sabha elections from his party’s seat. Mulayam Singh Yadav, despite his son’s acrimonious relationship with his brother, recently attended Shivpal Yadav’s rally.
Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday made their alliance official, saying their parties will contest the 2019 general elections on 38 seats each out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. They even left the Congress out of their alliance, leaving only Amethi and Raebareli for the Rahul Gandhi-led party.
On Shivpal Yadav’s inclusion in the alliance, Mayawati on Saturday said his party is funded by the BJP, which is a conspiracy to divide (secular and social justice) votes.
The Congress was hoping for a pan-India alliance with major regional parties to defeat the BJP. The party had been in talks with regional leaders including Trinamool’s Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu.
Shivpal Yadav also wanted to join the bandwagon. He said earlier this week that there was no chance of merging his party with Akhilesh Yadav’s party, but he was willing to enter into an electoral partnership with them. “I am open for an alliance with like-minded parties to keep the communal BJP at bay and that too if my party is offered a respectable number of seats,” Mr Yadav was quoted by news agency PTI.
With inputs from agencies