West Bengal CM welcomes SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi: Hailing the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that the country’s “people and great institutions must strive to remain independent in the true sense of the word.”

Hours after once arch-rivals-Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-decided to join hands for the coming Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Banerjee said: “Let us cherish the idea of India, for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives. Our people and our great institutions must strive to remain independent in the true sense of the word.”

In a significant political development, SP and BSP on Saturday announced their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the coming General Elections according to which they will contest on 38 seats each, while on the four seats they have decided not to put up their candidates. The seats allocation will be done later.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP president Mayawati said at a press conference in Lucknow that they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, which are currently represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. They have also left two seats, out of a total of 80, for smaller allies.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav also commented on the alliance, saying that “the defeat of the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha election has commenced from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.” Yadav’s RJD heads ‘Mahagathbandhan’ against the BJP in Bihar.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath also hailed the SP-BSP alliance. “Today there is a need of alliances in the entire country. BJP got only 31 per cent votes in 2014 Lok Sabha elections and claimed to have the people’s mandate. This happened due to split in votes.”

However, BJP’s Sudhanshu Trivedi said that the SP and the BSP came together “to save their own political ground.” “These parties have accused each other of murder in the past. Anyway, it is their choice. We are confident that even if all the parties come together, we will still win,” said Trivedi.