LUCKNOW: As the activity in the opposition gets heightened and amidst unconfirmed reports of BSP chief Mayawati meeting UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday in Delhi, UP CM Yogi Aditynath rejected all the pre-result efforts being made by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to cobble up an anti-BJP alliance even when country was still voting for 59 Lok Sabha seats in the last leg of 2019 big battle, calling it an exercise in futility and a mere posturing by the opposition on the eve of results.
While interacting with media persons after casting his vote on Sunday in Gorakhpur, the UP CM targeted the Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu, who is leading the alliance talks, saying he should first take care of his own ground which he was losing badly in his state this time.
Naidu has stepped up efforts towards unifying the opposition camp to ensure the ouster of Modi-led NDA government. He has been meeting leaders across the political spectrum for the last couple of days. In the same spirit, Naidu had met SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati here on Saturday evening.
“They all are spent and beaten pawns. The Andhra CM himself is losing badly in his state and is trying to form alliance against NDA. This shows his nervousness and nothing else. All such efforts will subside on May 23,” said CM Yogi exuding the confidence that NDA would be voted for a second term. “This time people have voted crossing the barriers of caste, class, creed, community, faith and dynasty,” he claimed.
On Saturday, while being in Lucknow, Naidu first held an hour-long meeting with Akhilesh Yadav before proceeding to Mayawati’s residence with a bouquet and a crate of Hyderabadi mangoes. Flanked by Akhilesh and BSP national general secretary SC Mishra, Naidu chose to keep mum on what transpired at the meeting saying everything would come out in open at an appropriate time. As per the insiders, the Andhra CM had come down to state capital to to personally invite Akhilesh and Mayawati to be a part of the opposition meeting he has decided to convene in New Delhi on May 21.Even Akhilesh too remained silent over the issue.
According to a SP insider, both Akhilesh and Mayawati had refused to be the part of any opposition meet before the results on May 23. A senior party leader also hinted that the leaders of SP-BSP-RLD alliance would first meet amongst themselves after the poll results on May 23 to decide on their course of action and till then they would not want to be a part of any alliance talks with any party or leaders.
In fact, the political horizon of Uttar Pradesh has been witness to an unexpected SP-BSP bonhomie in 2019. Since both the regional satraps had been faced with existential crisis, buried their two and half decade animosity and joined hands to stop the saffron juggernaut in the political hotbed of India. BSP, SP, RLD fielded 38, 37, and three seats of the total 80 UP Lok Sabha seats and did not field any candidate on Rae Bareli and Amethi, the seats of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
This is not the first time that Akhilesh and Mayawati have taking such a stance. They had kept away from all the meetings that Chandrababu Naidu held in the run-up to the 2019 polls for creating a joint opposition front against the BJP. Akhilesh had earlier met Naidu twice individually, and one of those meetings was held at SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's Delhi residence. But, Maya and Akhilesh did not attend any formal Opposition meeting since the two formed the alliance.
In fact, after the opposition’s show of strength at HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony at Bengaluru in May last year, the two leaders had kept away from all such gatherings including Kamal Nath’s swearing-in ceremony in Bhopal late last year.
The two had also skipped the opposition meet on December 10 in Delhi. Before arriving in Lucknow, Naidu met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss an anti-BJP front. News agencies reported that in an hour-long meeting with Rahul, Naidu discussed the impending need to bring together all parties which are against the BJP.
Earlier Naidu met CPI leaders Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja. He also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar. On Friday, Naidu had met CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Aam Aadmi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal and discussed with them the possible tie-up in the post-election scenario.