With exit polls on Thursday suggesting that BJP will emerge the single largest player in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief and CM Akhilesh Yadav said it was the moral responsibility of all secular forces to come together to stop the saffron outfit.
“In order to stop communal forces and…provide secu rity and prosperity to all sections of society , all secular forces have a moral responsibility to come together to give the people of Uttar Pradesh a democratic government,“ Akhilesh told TOI just after exit polls suggested that he might not return to office.
Akhilesh did not specifically mention BSP in his pitch for “secular“ unity . But with Congress already his partner, the call seemed to be clearly ai med at the Dalit outfit which has been at loggerheads with SP since the mid-90s when their coalition came apart.
Speaking to a news agency , the CM seemed keen to avoid the prospect of the state being put under central rule in case the outcome on Saturday threw up a hung House. He said no one would prefer that as BJP would have a remote control in UP. His remarks came soon after most of the exit polls showed BJP in the lead.
Earlier in the day, Akhilesh had expressed confidence that the SP-Congress alliance would get a clear majority and form the government, though he added that a clear picture would emerge only after the results were announced.
BSP and SP have been at daggers drawn not only because of the antagonism among their core constituencies of Jatavs and Yadavs, but also because BSP chief Mayawati has not forgiven Samajwadis for the infamous guesthouse episode of June 1995.
A mob of SP workers had assaulted her after BSP pulled out of the Mulayam Singh Yadav-led coalition. Mayawati remains convinced that Mulayam, who was still the CM, ensured that police did not come to her rescue.
While Mulayam is no longer at the helm of SP, tension between the two parties persists and and has found expression in the put-downs that Akhilesh and Mayawati directed at each other during the campaign.Still, observers feel the change of leadership might lead the two parties to review their equations now because of BJP regaining the prominence it enjoyed in the state in the 1990s.
The two parties forged a partnership in 1993 and succeeded in preventing BJP from getting a majority in the assembly polls held when Ram Janmabhoomi sentiments ran strong.
19 Feb 2019
20 Feb 2019