Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Monday said the Lok Sabha poll drubbing in Uttar Pradesh was due to the "poor performance" of the alliance with the Samajwadi Party and asked party leaders and workers to be prepared to contest the assembly by-elections on their own, remarks that have raised questions over the future of the 'gathbandhan'.
At a meeting of the Bahujan Samaj Party's Uttar Pradesh unit, she also asked office bearers, MLAS and newly-elected MPs to not depend on the alliance to win votes but to improve the party's organisation.
According to some of those present in the meeting, Mayawati also referred to the family feud in the Yadav clan, saying after Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav's younger brother Shivpal decided to contest separately the community votes were not transferred to the BSP, and the SP could not even save its "family seats".
While Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple lost the election by over 12,000 votes in Kannauj, his two cousins Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav also lost from Badaun and Ferozabad constituencies respectively.
Significantly, the BSP got 10 seats in this Lok Sabha polls as against 2014 polls when it could not even manage one seat.
She told the gathering at the party headquarters that the BSP won 10 seats in UP due to its traditional vote bank and the votes of Samajwadi Party could not get transferred to its candidates.
However, Mayawati did not directly talked about the future of the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's SP and only asked the party workers to adopt a "wait and watch" policy till the their family dispute was over, according to BSP sources.
"Neither did she criticise the SP or Akhilesh, nor did she say that the alliance was over or as good as over," a source said.
When asked about Mayawati's comments, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhry said: "We will wait to know about official stand of the BSP on alliance's performance in the Lok Sabha elections, after that we will decide what we have to do."
A total of 11 assembly bypolls are due in UP after the respective MLAs won the Lok Sabha polls. While nine BJP MLAs emerged victorious in the LS polls, one each from the BSP and the SP were elected to the lower house.
She cited "poor performance" of its alliances in various states during assembly and Lok Sabha elections to emphasis that the BSP will have to strengthen its own organisational structure and not to depend on other parties to win votes in the assembly bypolls.
Mayawati's comments to the party unit assumes significance as the BSP does not usually contest bypolls.
At the time of the alliance, Akhilesh Yadav had said the alliance of his party with the BSP would last till UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was sent back to Gorakhpur as mahant of (Gorakhnath) temple.
"No matter how much you try, this alliance is not going to break. The alliance will go a long way. We have not forged this alliance only to oust Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Centre... we will not keep quiet until he and his disciple Yogi are unseated from power," Yadav had said.
Mayawati also pressed for the need to increase the involvement of members of other backward classes in the party organisation by reviving district-level committees.