Lalu bats for SP-BSP tie-up in UP

RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav and his one-time bete noir JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar may have buried the hatchet in an apparent bid to check the BJP’s advance in Bihar, but such an alliance between Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati appears impossible in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.

Enthused about the sudden turn of events in Bihar, Lalu Prasad on Monday appealed to the SP and the BSP to shun their differences and fight “communal forces”.

However, both SP and BSP leaders said the parties would not “join hands under any circumstance”.

The differences, they said, were not only ideological but personal as well.  “The BSP cannot be trusted. It has joined hands with the BJP in the past and it can do so in the future also if circumstances so demand,” a senior leader from the SP told Deccan Herald.

“The animosity between leaders of the two parties is too strong to allow them to come together. SP workers will find it very hard to work with BSP supporters at the grass-roots level,” the leader pointed out.

This was an apparent reference to the attack on Mayawati by SP workers at a guest house here in 1995.

“Lalu and Nitish have left the decision on the thorny issue of chief ministership for after the Assembly polls. That is not possible if the BSP and the SP were to join hands as both will stake claim for the top post,” he added.

BSP leaders also summarily rejected such a possibility. “We can never be friends. The SP has an anti-dalit mindset,” said a BSP leader.

He added that the party has the capability to form government in the state under its own steam.
“We proved that in 2007,” he remarked. The BJP had secured 42 per cent votes in UP in the recent Lok Sabha polls.  The SP managed to get 22 per cent of the votes, while the BSP could corner around 20 per cent.

The Congress’s vote share was 7.5 per cent in the state. “They (BSP, SP, Congress) may fancy an alliance to keep us away but that will not happen...even if they do, it will not have much impact as people will see through their opportunism,” said a senior BJP leader here.

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