Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday, 21 January, implored Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati to reconsider her tie-up with the Samajwadi Party for the upcoming polls and asked her to form an alliance with the BJP instead.
Recalling Mayawati’s past electoral successes when paired with the BJP, Athawale said that the SP alliance “will not yield the desired electoral gains.”
"Mayawati became chief minister three times after receiving BJP's support. She did not see casteism then... If Mayawati really wants to work for the Dalits, she should think about joining hands with the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Athawale said to ANI.
The Union Minister also dubbed the SP-BSP alliance opportunistic.
"BSP is forming an alliance because they did not win any seat in 2014. In Uttar Pradesh elections also, they thought Mayawati will become the Chief Minister again but they were restricted to just 19 seats. That is why they have formed an alliance with their enemy (SP)," he said, as per a NDTV report.
He also said that the voters are not accepting the SP-BSP alliance in many parts of the state as they have been openly vocal in their detest for each other since a long time ago.
Arch Rivals to Allies
BSP and SP, the two major political parties in Uttar Pradesh, had announced their alliance for 2019 Lok Sabha elections on 12 January.
Speaking post the announcement, Mayawati had said: “This press conference will give PM Modi, Amit Shah sleepless nights.”
Both parties had been locking horns for the past two decades in the state – but now they seem to have buried the hatchet.