Mayawati, Akhilesh press briefing on Jan 12, expected to announce alliance for 2019 election
Lucknow, Jan 11 (IT): Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will address a joint press briefing tomorrow in Lucknow.
The two Uttar Pradesh leaders are expected to announce their alliance tomorrow, January 12, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Sources said that both SP and BSP are planning to contest on 37 seats each out of the 80 on offer in Uttar Pradesh and plan to leave just two, Rae Bareli and Amethi, the bastions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the Congress.
Smaller parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Nishad Party are also likely to be in the alliance.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in UP.
Recently, there were hoardings outside the Samajwadi Party (SP) headquarters in Lucknow hinting at a major gathbandhan between Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. The hoardings read "Hamare paas gathbandhan hai aur BJP ke paas CBI (We have alliance and the BJP has CBI)."
The hoardings came days after the CBI conducted over a dozen raids in Uttar Pradesh in connection with illegal mining in the state during the tenure of the SP government. Even Akhilesh Yadav's name surfaced in the illegal mining case.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati supported Akhilesh after his name emerged in the case and advised him "not to be shaken by such gimmicks".
Talking about seat sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rashtriya Lok Dal President Ajit Singh said, "We are a part of the grand alliance, we haven't discussed seats yet. Mayawati Ji and Akhilesh Ji will decide whether there will be an alliance with Congress or not."
It would be interesting to see if Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are ready to talk to the Congress for an alliance as the party chief Rahul Gandhi, in a recent interview, said that he was open to forming an alliance.
In October, Mayawati said her party would contest elections on its own if the BSP wasn't given a respectable seat share. She added that it was better than begging for seats in any alliance.