LUCKNOW: In the run up to 2019 big battle, while the regional parties, including Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and some smaller outfits, in UP are gearing up to stitch up an anti-BJP grand alliance, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has put the onus of stopping the saffron juggernaut on those partners who stood decimated in sweeping Modi wave in 2014.
Putting the ball in BSP's court, the SP chief claimed that BJP's defeat should be entrusted to those parties, including the BSP and the RLD, as they had suffered major losses in 2014.
"It is the responsibility of the BSP to reduce the BJP to zero," he said adding that 2019 would present them an opportunity to avenge their defeat of 2014. Notably, the BSP had failed to open an account in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Addressing party workers here, he said that his party would try to reduce the BJP to five seats, Congress would bring them down to two seats and the Rashtriya Lok Dal would bring the BJP down to one seat.
"But it is the responsibility of BSP to completely wipe out the BJP by reducing their tally to zero seats", he said. He claimed that the parties would have to pay the BJP back in same coin in 2019. It may be recalled that SP had won just five seats in 2014 and all five were members of Yadav clan. Congress could retain only two seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli represented by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia respectively.
Similarly, RLD too had failed to open an account in 2014 but the party won a seat in Kairana bypoll in 2018. The SP chief also made it clear that the onus of forging the alliance and making it viable for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was more on the BSP than the SP.
The BSP had earlier sent out feelers that it would settle for a minimum of 40 seats from the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. At an event two days ago, the former chief minister had also claimed that the Uttar Pradesh alliance partners' were ready with their 2019 strategy which cannot be shared now for obvious reasons.
As per the buzz in the political circles, the grand alliance is being talked about by the prospective partners SP and BSP and the seat-sharing talks have entered the final stages. "SP and BSP are taking the seat adjustments. They are also considering Chaudhary Ajit Singh's RLD to be given a few seats in western UP where the jat party has some clout but the Congress is not figuring in their talks at all," said a senior SP leader seeking anonymity.