Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): Poster with pictures of Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati was seen outside Samajwadi Party (SP) office in Lucknow on Friday.
The two parties were arch rivals till the recently held bypolls in Uttar Pradesh. But, the BSP extended its support to the SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls. As a result, the SP candidates won both the Lok Sabha seats.
The development has fuelled speculations that considering the 2014 general election results, both Akhilesh and Mayawati may join hands to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 general elections in Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
In 2014, the BJP had won 71 seats and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally Apna Dal bagged two seats in Uttar Pradesh. While the SP managed to win five seats, the BSP could not open its account. The Congress could also win only two seats.
In the recent past, the opposition parties have been finding it difficult to contain the increasing political graph of the BJP at the national level.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi too has become active to bring all opposition political parties, which are not part of the NDA, on a single platform ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
On Tuesday, Sonia hosted dinner for Opposition leaders in which leaders of 20 parties; including of Congress, SP, and BSP; attended.
The non-Congress leaders who attended Sonia’s dinner party were: Sharad Pawar of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party (SP), Sharad Yadav- Hindustan Tribal Party (HTP), Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Baddrauddin Ajmal of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Omar Abdullah of National Conference (NC), Hemant Soren of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Ajit Singh of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), D Raja of Communist Party of India (CPI), Md Salim of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Kanimozhi of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), PK Kunhalikutty of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Satish Chandra Mishra of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Babu Lal Madandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), Ramachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), Jitan Ram Manjhi of Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM), Dr Kupender Reddy of Janata Dal- Secular (JD-S), and a representative of Kerala Congress (M).
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, and senior Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ahmed Patel, AK Antony, and Randeep Singh Surjewala were also present on the occasion. (ANI)