MSY finally ratifies SP-BSP alliance, says it's unbeatable
AGRA: In his first public meeting since the SP-BSP alliance registered resounding bypoll victories in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "If the ticket distribution is correct, this alliance cannot be defeated."
He was addressing a public rally in Mainpuri amid flags of both the parties being waved at the venue.
The last time the two parties had stitched together an alliance was 25 years ago. MSY had played a crucial role in bringing together the two parties then. The alliance went on to form government in UP in 1993.
However, in 1995, Mayawati withdrew support and the Mulayam Singh Yadav government was reduced to minority. This had triggered a chain of unpleasant events.
Led by some SP MLAs and MPs, angry party supporters had descended on the state guest house in Lucknow which the BSP leader was occupying. Mayawati, who was staying in Room no 1, and some other BSP leaders, were assaulted by furious Mulayam supporters as security personnel deployed there looked the other way. Some five BSP MLAs were allegedly taken forcibly to the CM and "coerced" into signing letters extending support to Mulayam Singh Yadav. A few "terrified" MLAs reportedly even signed on blank papers given to them.
However, much water has flown in Gomti since and the tense relations between the two parties have thawed, particularly after their drubbing in the last assembly elections.
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has gone on record, saying that the acrimony between the two parties is a "thing of the past". He has distanced himself from the incidents of that time, maintaining that he was not in politics then.
Buoyed by the recent by-election results, Akhilesh has already stated that this alliance will continue for the Kairana bypoll (necessitated by the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh last month, the date for which is yet to be announced) and even the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In a recent TV interview, Akhilesh said, "I am ready to be practical.... From my side, I know I have to run this alliance. This alliance is important. If I have to take two steps back, I am willing to do it."