MAINPURI (UP): When BSP chief Mayawati addresses a rally in Mainpuri on April 19 next in support of SP candidate Mulayam Singh Yadav, it would be a formal burial of 24-year-old bitter rivalry between two stalwarts, who have been dominating the political scene in Uttar Pradeshe for more than three decades.
The SP patriarch was not convinced about the alliance even after his son and party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati announced it at a joint press conference on January 12 and openly expressed his displeasure a month later when the two parties announced their seat-sharing formula in which SP got one seat less. On April 19, however, he would share the dais with Mayawati, Akhilesh and RLD chief Ajit Singh, who is also part of the alliance.
Confirming this, BSP zonal coordinator, Sunil Chitor said that the programme had been finalised and details sent to district units. SP national spokesperson has also released the details of 11 joint rallies to be addressed by Akhilesh and Mayawati.
Political observers say that it will be interesting to see how Mayawati speaks in favour of Mulayam Singh Yadav and seeks votes for him. In the past more than two decades, both have exchanged just barbs. This rally is also being seen as a tool to convert caste equations into votes and spread the message among the Yadav and Jatav vote base of the two parties to work and vote in tandem.
Talking to TOI, Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, who is a grand-nephew of Mulayam and also election in charge from his constituency, confirmed that Mulayam would be present at the rally to be held at the Christian field.
The relationship between the two parties had turned bitter since June 2, 1995, when Mayawati was allegedly held hostage by SP workers at Lucknow’s Meerbai Marg Guesthouse after her party pulled out of the coalition government. This was just two years after the Mulayam and BSP founder Kanshi Ram decided to forge a historic pre-poll alliance to tackle a rising BJP in the wake of the Ram Temple wave with the slogan ‘Mile Mulayam, Kanshi Ram, Hawa Mein Ud Gaye Jai Shri Ram”.
In 1993, BSP contested 164 seats and won 67 and SP won 109 out of 256 seats contested in the house of 425 in undivided UP. The coalition formed the government with Congress’s support from the outside. But they parted ways within two years with BSP accusing SP of usurping its vote base.
Thereafter, Mayawati thrice became the CM with the support of BJP. This triggered a prolonged rivalry between the two, which got further intense in 2003 after Mayawati, then running a BSP-BJP coalition government, resigned and Mulayam formed a minority government with with the support of breakaway BSP MLAs. Mayawati got her revenge when she upstaged this government in 2007 elections. In 2012, however, SP bounced back to power defeating BSP comprehensively.
By 2017 state elections, Akhilesh had started showing signs of rapprochement for forming a joint front against the BJP, which was again in ascendance in the state after one and a half decades. After initial hesitation Mayawati, too, reciprocated but the SP patriarch never showed any re-conciliatory tone towards the Dalit leader. With April 19 rally, however, the SP-BSP ties will come a full circle. Post fetched from RSS feeds