Mayawati hints 'friendship' with Samajwadi Party will continue, discusses new anti-BJP strategy with BSP leaders

Lucknow: Clearly indicating that her "friendship" with the Samajwadi Party would continue, BSP president Mayawati met the party's coordinators to apprise them of "new strategy" to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, party leaders said.

The BSP chief told senior party leaders in a closed door meeting that they must work wholeheartedly to defeat the BJP in the parliamentary elections, barely a year away.

File image of BSP supremo Mayawati. PTI

File image of BSP supremo Mayawati. PTI

Discussing the changing social and political equations in Uttar Pradesh with her party's leaders, she said they would be able to fulfil the dream of a "welfare government" if the poor, neglected and oppressed come together and use their last weapon - their vote - to grab the master-key of power.

It was against this backdrop that she stressed the necessity for an alliance or an understanding and asked party leaders to foil the BJP's efforts to drive a wedge in the new found equation with the SP, a party insider said after the meeting.

The BSP chief directed coordinators not to be disheartened with the defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections and said the BJP's defeat in the key Lok Sabha seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur had made the saffron party nervous.

She also thanked party workers who had worked to ensure the BJP's defeat in the by-elections in the two constituencies, the insider said.

Mayawati indicated that the BSP's future strategy would be chalked out after a final decision on an alliance but asked the party's leaders to continue their efforts to defeat the BJP by highlighting the shortcomings of both the Centre and the state government.

According to a party leader, she asked for feedback on how Opposition parties felt about firming up an alliance against the BJP.

"The BSP's close ties with the Samajwadi Party are not for any selfish motive but in the national interest," she told the media earlier in the day, emphasising that Opposition parties will have to work jointly to stop the BJP from coming to power at the Centre.

She said non-BJP parties should come together to address the problems of common people, including the poor and the youth, because of the "wrong policies of the BJP-led central and state governments".

The BSP-SP friendship is being welcomed all over the country, she said, adding that the workers of the two parties would not fall prey to the BJP's designs.
"Since the BJP is now finding this (tie-up) taking shape, their leaders are issuing unfounded statements against the BSP-SP relationship," she said, days after the "understanding" between the two arch rivals came in for sharp criticism from the saffron party, which lost Gorakhpur and Phulpur to the SP.

The BSP supremo also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on dalit icon and chairman of the Constitution-drafting committee, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, in his 'Man ki Baat' programme yesterday and termed it an "eyewash".

"In the past four years of their governance, they have been continuously indulging in theatrics on issues related to dalits and backwards and any more drama on the issue will not get them any political mileage," she said.

"The country based on the principle of equality of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar can never be a reality under the government led by the BJP and the RSS as their mindset is narrow, communal and casteist, which is against the very spirit of the Constitution," she said.

Mayawati told her party workers that even NDA partners are deserting it so they don't have to face the wrath of the people in the general elections.

"It is also clear now that people are teaching a lesson to the BJP which had won elections in UP, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well as at the Centre through wrong means and there are chances that it might not be able to repeat its success story with polling being conducted through VVPAT."

VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party a person has voted for. Electors see the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slip for seven seconds

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Updated Date: Mar 26, 2018 19:54:06 IST

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