Amid speculation that there could be a “respectable” place for the Congress in the Uttar Pradesh Mahagathbandhan, BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday made an emphatic assertion that that her party would not have any electoral tie-up with the Congress in any State for the Lok Sabha polls beginning April 11.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Mayawati said, “It is being made clear again that the BSP will not have any electoral alliance with the Congress in any State.”
Her remarks came on a day when the highest policy-making body of Congress — Congress Working Committee (CWC) — met in Ahmedabad and gave a clarion call to oust the Modi Government.
Referring to her party’s pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party in UP, Mayawati said it is based on “mutual respect” and “honest intentions”. She went on to add the SP-BSP alliance was perfect enough to defeat the BJP, especially in Uttar Pradesh.
The SP and the BSP stitched together an alliance in UP recently, keeping the Congress out, though the two parties decided not to field any candidate in Rae Bareli and Amethi — the stronghold of the grand old party.
Of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, the SP would contest 37 and the BSP 38, leaving three for Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
The BSP would be fielding its candidates mostly in western UP, including Saharanpur, Bijnore, Nagina, Amroha, Meerut, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Besides, it would contest Aonla, Shahjahanpur, Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Misrikh, Mohanlalganj, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh, Farrukhabad, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Ambedkarnagar, Kaiserganj, Shrawasti, Domariyaganj, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Lalganj, Ghosi, Salempur, Jaunpur, Machhlishahr, Ghazipur and Bhadohi.
Addressing party leaders from various States in New Delhi, Mayawati said while several parties were eager for an alliance with the BSP, her party would not do anything for mere electoral gains as it could harm the BSP movement.
The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) against a combination of Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Left and several regional forces, with the latter still trying to stitch up a grand alliance to minimise the division of votes against the ruling combine.
The BJP has worked out a seat-sharing formula with its new allies and old partners -- by making concessions to them in states like Bihar -- while the opposition parties were yet to arrive at a deal in several States.
While the saffron alliance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi hopes to make history by returning to power for a second term, the Opposition was hopeful of unseating the Government by raising questions on its performance on a host of issues, including economic growth, employment, corruption and social harmony.
Meanwhile, reports confirmed that the BSP is sticking to old-fashioned electioneering, shunning fancy ‘raths’ and holograms, and keeping away from public relations companies that offer such high-tech options. Instead, the party would bank on public meetings by supremo Mayawati and booth-level campaigning by its workers.
BSP leaders said instructions have been given on layout of hoardings and banners. The candidate’s photo should not be bigger than those of party founder Kanshi Ram or Mayawati. Kanshi Ram’s photo or a picture of the BSP poll symbol has to be put next to Mayawati’s on the poster.