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BSP-SP alliance unravels, both parties to fight assembly bypolls alone

twitter-logoPTI | June 4, 2019 | Updated 21:13 IST

(Eds: Merges BJP reax, adds details) New Delhi/Lucknow, Jun 4 (PTI) The opposition ‘gathbandhan’ in Uttar Pradesh unravelled Tuesday with BSP chief Mayawati declaring her party will fight the assembly bypolls alone, prompting Akhilesh Yadav to say his SP too is ready to go solo. The Bahujan Samaj Party chief, however, said the break is not permanent and she can work with the Samajwadi Party again if the SP president can "fulfil his duties". Reacting to her statement, Yadav told reporters in Ghazipur, "If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates on all 11 seats up for the bypolls after consulting party leaders soon." Mayawati said she will try to ensure that the BSP-SP relationship stays intact. "On the other hand, political compulsions cannot be ignored completely and everyone knows that," she told the media in the national capital, less than a fortnight after the announcement of the Lok Sabha results. The BJP ridiculed the two opposition partners for their short-lived alliance. Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, "The `gathbandhan’ died on May 23 and on the 13th day, the allies have parted ways," he said, referring to the traditional Hindu mourning. The BJP won 62 of 80 seats in the state while the opposition alliance bagged just 15, with the BSP winning 10 and the SP five. The Congress got one seat and the BJP ally Apna Dal (S) two. In 2014, the BSP could not even manage one seat while the SP won five that time as well. Eleven assembly bypolls are due in UP after the respective MLAs won the Lok Sabha polls. Nine of them are from the BJP, and one each from the BSP and the SP. "The bypolls can be announced any moment now. Under the current conditions in Uttar Pradesh, we have decided to fight the bypolls, which will happen on some seats, all alone," Mayawati said. "If I feel that the SP president is able to fulfil his duties and convert his people into missionaries, then we can still walk together in future. There has been no permanent break as of now." If he is unable to succeed in his task, it will be better for the party to walk alone, she added. The BSP chief had called a review meeting in New Delhi on Monday to analyse the Lok Sabha results. "I have to say with much sadness that the SP's base vote - meaning 'Yadav samaj' - has not stood along with the SP even in areas where they are in high numbers," she said. She reminded that even members of Yadav own family lost. "If the gathbandhan has disintegrated or whatever that is being said about the gathbandhan is true, then I will deliberate on it very carefully," Akhilesh Yadav later said. "If there is no alliance, we will prepare on our own for the upcoming UP bypolls and contest on all the 11 seats,” the SP leader said in Ghazipur, where he had gone to offer condolences after the murder of party worker Vijay Yadav. He said if the BSP treads a separate path, it is welcome. The SP chief said, "At this point of time, the 'gathbandhan' is not important to us. What is more important is that the family of our slain party worker should get justice,” he said. UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey said, "Right from day one we have been saying it's an opportunistic alliance forged to save their own families and hide acts of corruption." The alliance was formed in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls after a similar tie-up ensured the rout of the BJP on three Lok Sabha seats -- Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana -- in bypolls held last year. Keshav Prasad Maurya, one of the two deputy chief ministers in UP, said, “The gathbandhan was formed only to stop Prime Minister Modi from coming back to power. It has miserably failed. Its disintegration was certain." During his election rallies, Narendra Modi had said May 23 was the "expiry date" for the SP-BSP grouping, and its leaders would tear each others' clothes when the poll results are declared that day. PTI DSP NAV SMI AAR MIN ASH ASH

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