Former BJP MP Savitri Phule meets Akhilesh

Talking to strengthen alliance: Phule

Phule, who has often been critical of the BJP leadership, resigned from the party last month, saying it was dividing society. (PTI File Photo)

Former BJP lawmaker Savitri Phule, who resigned from the saffron party last month, on Thursday met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

"I am only talking to strengthen the alliance," Phule told PTI without giving any details.

She said that nothing concrete has so far happened. "I will inform you if things take shape," she told PTI.

The meeting comes days after once arch-rivals Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party announced their tie-up in the state ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each.

The meeting, which was also confirmed by SP's chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary, lasted for about 15 minutes. He said both the leaders have met earlier as well.

Phule, who has often been critical of the BJP leadership, resigned from the party last month, saying it was dividing society.

However, she said she will complete her tenure as a Member of Parliament and won't quit the post.

The opposition alliance for Uttar Pradesh, which also includes Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal, has taken shape after consecutive successes in last year's by-elections.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the SP had won five seats, while the BSP failed to win any seat. The BJP bagged 73 along with its allies of the total 80 seats.

In the 2017 assembly polls, the SP and the BSP got 22 per cent votes each.

Come to 2019, if both the parties continue to have a say in their traditional vote bank, the combine can create hurdles for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the politically-crucial Uttar Pradesh, there are about 22 per cent Dalits, 45 per cent OBCs and 19 per cent Muslims, whose vote share will be decisive in the general elections this year.

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Former BJP MP Savitri Phule meets Akhilesh

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