UP: SP-BSP mahagathbandan to be declared on Saturday
Uttar Pradesh

UP: SP-BSP mahagathbandan to be declared on Saturday

Agency News

Lucknow, Jan 11 : The much awaited opposition Mahagathbandhan between Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party, along with other smaller parties, will be announced here on Saturday.

Earlier, the announcement was expected on January 15, as it happens to be an auspicious day with festival like Makarsankranti falling on it. Also, it is the first day of the Magh month, when the first 'shahi snan' would take place at Kumbh in Prayagraj. BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh's wife Dimple Yadav will also be celebrating their birthdays on that very day.

The announcement to hold a joint press conference here at a starred hotel on Saturday noon was made on Friday early morning by a statement released by both the parties simultaneously.

The press meet will be addressed both by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav while the announcement was made jointly by SP national secretary Rajendra Choudhury and BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra.

But before the press meet, both--the BSP president, who reached here on Thursday evening from New Delhi and SP president Akhilesh Yadav-- would meet on Friday evening.

Mr Yadav is slated to attend a chaupal along with social media handler Tweeter officials at Kannauj on Friday afternoon.

According to sources of BSP and SP, both the parties will contest equal number of seats-- 37 each while the remaining six seats will be left for the small partners, including RLD and other regional parties. The Mahagathbandan will also leave the Rae Bareli and Amethi seats for the Congress.

Sources said that with the announcement of the Mahagathbandan on Saturday, the poll campaign for the opposition will roll on in the state for the Lok Sabha polls.

However, speculations are doing round that two alliance partners of BJP-- Suheldeo Bharatiya Samaj Party(SBSP) led by UP cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar and Apna Dal ( Sonelal) led by Union minister Anupriya Patel could join the mahagathbandan and they would get one seat each.

As Uttar Pradesh comprises 80 Lok Sabha seats, the coming together of the BSP and the SP is likely to give a tough fight to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The alliance had defeated the BJP is its bastions of Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana Lok Sabha seats in the last bypoll in the constituencies.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP won 71 of the 80 seats in UP by getting 42.63 per cent of votes while two others were won by its alliance partner Apna Dal. In comparison, the SP won 5 seats by getting 22.35 per cent of votes but BSP drew nil even after getting 19.77 per cent of votes.

But in the 2017 Assembly polls in UP, the BJP won a landslide victory by winning 315 seats with achieving vote share of 39.7 per cent which was a drop of around 3 per cent from the Lok Sabha vote. However, the SP won 48 seats by getting just 22 per cent of vote while the BSP got just 18 seats by receiving 22.2 per cent of vote share.

But if arithmetic is done, then SP-BSP combine vote share is more than BJP's in both 2014 and 2017 elections.

The haste to announce the Mahagathbandan apparently comes to counter the political controversy over reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to question Akhilesh Yadav in illegal mining case.

The Samajwadi Party chief has, however, said that he is ready to face the agency when PM Narendra Modi announced in Agra recently that the CBI probe will continue even if there is a political pressure.

The BSP has also rallied behind Akhilesh, alleging that the BJP-led central government was trying to use the CBI for political means. (UNI)