Arch-rivals turned friends BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav will hold joint elections rallies across Uttar Pradesh in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. However, schedule for their rallies is yet to be finalised but reports say that the two former CMs could come together after Holi.
If reports are to go by, Akhilesh and Mayawati are likely to kick-off their poll campaign together by holding a rally in western Uttar Pradesh next week. Reports suggest that SP and BSP chiefs could address as many as 12 rallies in the state.
The decision was taken on Wednesday evening during a meeting between Akhilesh and Mayawati at latter’s residence in Lucknow. The meeting between the two former CMs of Uttar Pradesh took place in the backdrop of news reports that discontent brewing between the workers of the two political parties which once contested against each other. However, this time the two parties have come together to contest the general elections to uproot the BJP.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the two leaders met to discuss joint public meetings and rallies for the Lok Sabha polls.
“Meetings are being held constantly as the election is round the corner and the poll campaign has to be launched full scale after Holi next week,” he said.
This would be first time when two foes-turned friends would hold election rallies jointly in the state. The BSP and Samajwadi Party are considered as arch-rivals and Mayawati shares a very bitter past with Mulayam Singh Yadav. Before this, Akhilesh and Mayawati had jointly addressed a press conference in Lucknow to announce their electoral pact. In 2018, the two had shared stage for the first time when they attended the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
As per the electoral understanding, the Samajwdi Party will contest 37 seats and BSP 38. Ajit Singh’s RLD has been given three seats. The alliance has left two seats — Amethi and Raebareli for the Congress.
While the SP had won just five seats in the 2014 elections, the BSP couldn’t open its tally. Also in the assembly polls held in 2017, the parties suffered humiliating defeat at BJP’s hands.
Meanwhile, there are reports doing the rounds that Akhilesh could ask his father and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to seek re-election from Azamgarh. According to the first list of the Samajwadi Party released last week, Mulayam will contest from Mainpuri, a seat he had won in 2014 but relinquished it later and retained Azamgarh constituency.
Also, reports say that Mayawati may contest from Nagina or Ambedkar Nagar.
The state has 80 parliamentary seats. Polling here will be held in seven different phases between April 11 and May 19. Results will be declared on May 23.