Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday said that the Rajya Sabha election result will have no impact on her party’s association with the Samajwadi Party and the two will work with even more force to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 general elections.
A day after her party candidate lost to the BJP in an intense contest in Uttar Pradesh despite backing from the SP, the BSP supremo said the ruling party, which secured the win through “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional” means, is expecting that she will break off ties with the SP and “it (BJP) will have a field day in 2019”, but she will not let it happen.
Accusing the BJP of indulging in malpractice in the election, she said that the ruling party had “conspired” to defeat her candidate to create a rift between the BSP and SP.
“I will not let that happen at any cost. They were up all night eating laddoos and thinking that Mayawati will get angry and break off and that they will have a field day in 2019,” Mayawati told reporters.
“The Rajya Sabha election result will have no impact on the understanding between the BSP and SP and their conspiracy will cost them heavily as the workers of BSP and SP will now work with even more force to stop them from coming to power in 2019,” she said.
Her remarks came after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav cancelled the victory celebration for his party nominee Jaya Bachchan to be held in the state capital as a sign of solidarity with the BSP whose lone candidate backed by the SP lost in the Rajya Sabha polls.
“There will not be an iota of difference in the close understanding between the BSP and SP,” Mayawati said, making it clear that BSP is keen to consolidate its association with the SP which is seen as a major reason for the BJP’s recent defeat in two prestigious Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur seats.
After it wrested the two seats with the BSP’s backing, the SP had reciprocated by promising to ensure victory of BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar. However, the BSP lost out in a cliffhanger on Friday.
“I am thankful for the support of Congress and SP whose seven MLAs voted for BSP candidate,” Mayawati said.
“I want to warn the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that I will not allow their special aim of creating rift in the new understanding between the BSP and Samajwadi Party to succeed,” she said.
The former chief minister, however, said that had she been in Akhilesh’s place she would have ensured the victory of the candidate of the other party even if it meant making sacrifices so that the BJP could not dare make attempt to end their closeness.
“He erred a little in this since he is a little inexperienced but he will soon learn to give a befitting reply,” she said and indicated that she was ready to put behind the bitter past with the SP.
The BJP leaders will remind her about the state guest house case in 1995, when an attempt was allegedly made on her life by SP men, Mayawati said and added that the present SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was nowhere on the political scene then. “Will it be right and justified to hold him responsible for it,” she said.
Attacking the BJP she said, “They still want to see Dalits and backwards as deprived and are not able to digest the SP and BSP’s new understanding and have so termed it as selfish, unholy, opportunistic alliance or the friendship of snake and moles,” and asked the ruling party to shun such mindset or else the people will send them to “life long exile”.
On the guesthouse incident, she said, “I want to ask that by giving the highest police post to the officer responsible for the guest house case is the BJP not out to get me murdered so as to end the BSP movement for always.”
Mayawati also said her party has always maintained that the SC/ST Act should not be misused, but accused the Centre of not taking up the matter effectively in the Supreme Court.
She also announced the suspension of her MLA Anil Singh, alleging he cross voted in favour of the BJP to serve his business interests. She accused the BJP of creating terror and indulging in horse trading.
The BSP chief said that Rajya Sabha election results will not compensate for the loss suffered by the BJP in the Lok Sabha by-election in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
To a question on MLA from Kunda, Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, she cautioned Akhilesh Yadav against relying on him.
Mayawati said that if the BJP is so assured of its victory, it needs to conduct the future elections through ballot papers instead of EVMs.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party said it had planned a function at the party headquarters to celebrate the victory of its candidate Jaya Bachchan, but since the BSP candidate, Bhimrao Ambedkar lost, party president Akhilesh Yadav has cancelled it.
After the BJP won nine out of 10 Rajya Sabha seats seats in the state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had claimed that the election had exposed the “opportunistic face of SP”. “It can take votes but not give votes in return”, he said referring to SP’s victory in the recent Lok Sabha bypolls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma termed the alliance of the SP and the BSP as “lathabandhan” (a tie-up to intimidate people). “In fact, the alliance is not based on any principle except on ‘Modi hatao, BJP hatao’ (Remove Modi and BJP),” he said.
Image: BSP supremo Mayawati addresses a press conference at her residence in Lucknow. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo