West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday welcomed the alliance between the Mayawati party-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of 2019 General Elections. “I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” she tweeted soon after Mayawati and Akhilesh began their joint press conference in Lucknow to make the big announcement.
I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 12, 2019
Trinamool Congress chief, who has been at loggerheads with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) both in the state as well as at the Centre, has been meeting like-minded party leaders over the last one year trying to build an opposition alliance to take on the BJP in the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The chief minister is trying to form a 'Federal Front' and this is why she has requested all the regional party leaders to join TMC's mega rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on January 19.
Banerjee had earlier suggested that an SP-BSP alliance would wipe out the BJP from Uttar Pradesh, that sends 80 MPs to the lower house of the Parliament.
Meanwhile, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav - a bitter rival turned partners-in-polls - today announced that they will contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls together in Uttar Pradesh sharing 38 seats each of the 80 in the state. The SP-BSP has left Rae Bareli and Amethi for Congress, which has been kept out of the alliance.
"The Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party will each contest 38 seats while two seats have been left for one or two parties. We have also decided to leave Amethi and Rae Bareli seats for Congress though we do not have an alliance with it," Mayawati said at a joint conference in Lucknow.
During the conference, Akhilesh hinted at supporting Mayawati as a Prime Ministerial candidate. "Uttar Pradesh has produced numerous prime ministers in the past. You know whom I will support. I will be happy if another prime minister comes from the state," SP chief said when asked whether he will support Mayawati as a prime ministerial candidate if the need arises post-2019 Lok Sabha elections.
This would be the first time in 26 years that SP and BSP will fight the elections jointly. Last time, it happened in 1993, when Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram came together.