LUCKNOW: After all the bonhomie before the Lok Sabha elections, the gathbandhan seems to be over as BSP supremo Mayawati indicated on Monday that her party would contest the upcoming 11 Assembly bypolls in UP alone.
Smarting under the poll debacle — the BSP-SP alliance won just 15 out of 80 seats in the state — Mayawati took a dig at SP leader Akhilesh Yadav at a party meeting, quipping he could not even help his wife Dimple Yadav win.
“The gathbandhan was useless. Yadav votes were not transferred to us but our votes did go to them. The SP won only where Muslims voted heavily for them,” sources quoted her as saying.
Dimple lost from Kannauj, a party stronghold with over 3 lakh Yadav voters where SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh have both won in the past.
The BSP chief said Akhilesh’s uncle Shivpal Yadav had cut into Yadav votes.
“Why should we get caught in the Yadav family feud? So this by-election we will contest alone,” the three-time former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said. The BSP earlier had a policy of not contesting in by-elections.
During the meeting, Mayawati even brought up the 1995 UP guest house incident, when she was manhandled by Samajwadi workers for ending the alliance with Mulayam’s party.
She said the episode could not be forgotten, but claimed she tried to move past it for the sake of the country and because Akhilesh was “a child”.
Akhilesh had earlier said that the alliance would continue till the 2022 UP polls.