Akhilesh drives to Mayawati’s bungalow to thank her

Lucknow: Setting aside bitter and historic rivalry of 25 years, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday evening drove to the residence of Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati to thank her for the support to his party candidates in the Phulpur and Gorakhpur parliamentary by elections.

While Akhilesh Yadav had thanked the BSP chief who he fondly calls ‘Buaji’ (aunt) at a hurriedly-called press conference in the evening, he created a flutter in political circles here as his cavalcade drove from his Vikramaditya Marg residence to the sprawling bungalow of Mayawati at Mall Avenue, a kilometre away.

They were closeted together for about 20 minutes.

What transpired between the two is not yet known but it is understood that the two discussed the poll outcome in which their parties had together routed the ruling BJP.

Sporting the ‘brand SP’ red cap, Akhilesh Yadav merely waved at the waiting media on his return and said nothing.

His security personnel had a tough time clearing the route as the media wanted to know the details of one of the biggest political developments in the state in the past two decades.

In Phulpur, SP’s Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel trounced his BJP rival Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 59,613 votes, while in Gorakhpur, SP’s Pravin Nishad defeated BJP’s Upendra Shukla by 21,881 votes.

The meeting between Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav has triggered speculation about a possible tie up between the two sides on lines of a grand alliance in the run up to the crucial 2019 general elections, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a second term for himself.