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Mayawati announces BSP will contest the UP by-polls alone, questions raised on future of SP-BSP alliance

The tenuous Mahagathbandhan finally disintegrates as Mayawati hold SP chief Akhilesh Yadav responsible for the dismal poll performance

Reeling from the disastrous outcome of the Lok Sabha elections for the grand alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, the BSP supremo had announced to her party leaders that her party will go to the UP bypolls on its own, without any alliance partner.

The decision comes on the heels of the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls in which the combined alliance of SP-BSP could only manage to win a paltry 15 seats out of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The BJP convincingly defeated what was touted as a formidable alliance between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party and bagged 62 seats to take their overall tally to 303 seats, a thumping majority to form the government at the centre on its own.

After the poll drubbing, as the analysis trickle in, it has become increasingly clear that far from bolstering each other, the alliance of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party emaciated the individual parties and thus helped its rival BJP to score an impressive victory in the state. Though the seat tally for the BJP had come down from 71(2014) to 62 in this year’s elections, it has seen an unprecedented vote share of 49.6 per cent. This is about a 7 per cent increase from the 2014 levels where it was 42.63 per cent.

On the other hand, the SP-BSP vote share dropped from 42.2 per cent in 2014 to 37.3 per cent in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Several SP and BSP leaders admit in private that their respective parties would have performed better without being in the alliance. SP workers believed that many strong candidates from their party were denied tickets due to the compulsions of the alliance politics.

Even the internal bickering between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party played a significant role in the overall performance of the alliance. The faultlines in the SP-BSP alliance was evident right before the elections when a brawl broke out between the workers of the SP and BSP in a Mahagathbandhan rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur. The disconsolation about the alliance was evident among the grassroots workers who found it difficult to trust their former political rivals.

Today, Mayawati has come out in open and passed the buck for the poll debacle on SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. Mayawati who held a review meeting with office bearers and BSP leaders held Akhilesh Yadav responsible for his failure in stopping the division of Yadav votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. According to the sources, Mayawati said in the meeting that Akhilesh Yadav could not even assure a victory for his wife Dimple Yadav. Dimple Yadav lost to the BJP candidate in Kannauj Lok Sabha seat by a margin of over 12000 votes. Mayawati also accused Samajwadi workers of working against the alliance at many constituencies. She slammed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSPL) chief Shivpal Yadav for transferring the alliance votes to BJP.

Mayawati has asked her party members to be prepared for the bypolls to 11 assembly segments alone. In the meeting, she admitted that the alliance between SP-BSP hadn’t yielded the intended results, giving a clear indication that SP-BSP alliance may not continue further. She had appointed 4 party leaders on each of the state’s regions, to strengthen the organisation.

Earlier on Sunday, coming hard on the leaders responsible for the dismal show of the BSP in the Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati sacked election coordinators of 6 states and presidents of 2 states. The state presidents of Delhi and Madhya Pradesh were asked to tender their resignation while election coordinators of Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Orrisa were dismissed.

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