Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati celebrated her 63rd birthday on Tuesday. Former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav met Mayawati on the occasion and greeted her at her resident in Lucknow. According to sources, their meeting lasted an hour. On January 12, Mayawati and Mayawati announced their alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. Both Akhilesh’s SP and Mayawati’s BSP decided on a 50-50 seat-sharing deal under which each party will contest 38 seats. Addressing a joint press conference with Mayawati in Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav had said that the alliance was necessary to defeat the arrogant BJP and rid the state from the saffron party's "religion and caste politics".
Both the parties have decided not to contest in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi respectively. However, Congress has been kept out of the alliance. Two seats have been left for the smaller parties.
"We have come together to rid the state and country of BJP’s religion and caste politics. This alliance was a must to destroy BJP, to defeat their arrogance. BJP can go to any extent to create differences in our workers, we must be united and counter any such tactic,” Akhilesh Yadav.
He further said the SP and the BSP are now together and any insult to Mayawati will be his also. “I want to say to BJP that they should know that we (SP-BSP) are in this together. I am grateful to Mayawati for giving me equal status. They should know any insult to Mayawati is my insult,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mayawati had addressed a press conference on the occasion of her birthday where she targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that it should learn a lesson from the drubbing in the recently held Assembly Elections in the Hindi heartland states. The BSP chief also accused the BJP-led central government of betraying the people of the country by not fulfilling any of the promises. "PM Modi makes tall promises in his rallies, but just like every other time, we believe that this time too, all the promises will be shelved," she said.