SP, BSP announce alliance for Lok Sabha elections, to contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh

Arch rivals for years Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced on Saturday that they will contest together in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each of the 80 in the state while keeping the Congress out of the alliance.

However, the parties said they would leave Rae Bareli and Amethi for the Congress.

“We would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi,” they said.

The other two seats have been kept vacant for “one or two allies”, said BSP chief Mayawati at a press conference jointly addressed by her SP counterpart Akhilesh Yadav at a five-star hotel in Lucknow.

Answering questions, Mayawati said the alliance will go “far beyond” the Lok Sabha polls and their alliance would defeat the saffron party.

The BSP chief further said that the two parties will keep their personal differences aside to end the dictatorial rule of BJP.

Giving reasons for excluding the Congress from alliance, Mayawati said that during the Congress rule over the years, poverty, unemployment and corruption grew. She further said that in case of a tie-up with the Congress in the past, the party did not benefit.

“We ensure our votes get transferred to the Congress. However, they are not able to reciprocate it,” Mayawati said.

The joint press conference was held at a Five-star hotel after top leadership of both the parties had recently met in New Delhi to discuss broad parameters of the alliance to defeat the BJP unitedly in the Lok Sabha elections.