Will wait and watch: Mayawati on BSP-SP alliance rumours

Andrew Cummings
March 10, 2017

BSP chief Mayawati, with plenty of justification, has never forgotten the time she had to lock herself up into a room in the UP State Guest House in Lucknow to escape assault by SP workers.

Akhilesh refers to Mayawati as "my bua (sister of one's father)" while his ally Rahul Gandhi had expressed "tremendous admiration" for her. Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of members in the Indian parliament and so the election results in UP often decides the fate of the government at the center.

Countering suggestions that Akhilesh's comment was triggered by the exit poll projections, a close aide said the interview was given before the forecasts were made public in the afternoon.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, which concluded on Wednesday with the final phase of polling, may have witnessed an increase in the voter turnout, but it will be remembered more for setting a new low as far as campaigning is concerned. In Uttarakhand and Goa, the exit polls put the BJP ahead of the Congress.

Singh, however, had to later leave the post following internal dissension in the BJP and Ram Prakash Gupta assumed the reigns of the state only to later pave the way for Rajnath Singh. "It is tough to say such things at the moment".

The UP Chief Minister however said that he is still confident about the victory of SP-Congress alliance in UP election. "The BJP has failed to explain its achievements".

BSP sources said this evening that Mayawati had discounted the possibility of such an alliance, saying she never trusted the exit polls.

The biggest state in the country, with a population over 22 crore, has seen it all - from long spells of President's rule, fractured mandate, mass defections, mid-term elections and withdrawal of support in the not-so-distant past.

Akhilesh Yadav told to BBC Hindi, making it clear that the Samajwadi Party would not hesitate in engaging rival Bahujan Samaj Party to form the Uttar Pradesh government - as the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal earlier did in Bihar.

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