Mahagathbandhan heads for a crash as Mayawati hints at end of ties with SP

Mayawati-Akhilesh - The Federal
Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. File Photo/PTI

The Samajwadi Party (SP)-BSP Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh is on the brink of a divorce. Addressing her ten Members of Parliament (MPs) in New Delhi today (Monday), a visibly upset BSP Supremo Mayawati told them that from now, the BSP would go solo in Uttar Pradesh and there would be no truck with the SP.

Mayawati seems to be quite upset with the recent statements from SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. The senior Yadav had lambasted his son Akhilesh by saying that he had lost half the elections in the state even before polling, by conceding 38 seats to the BSP.

Mulayam had also blasted Akhilesh for the loss of their stronghold seats of Kannauj, Badayun, and Firozabad from where Akhilesh’s wife, Dimple Yadav, his cousins Dharmendra Yadav and Akshay Yadav lost. Mulayam, in this statement, hinted that the BSP vote apparently did not transfer to the SP candidates.

He also did not mince words in saying that he was against the alliance with the BSP since day one but Akhilesh refused to listen to him. He said the results clearly indicated the SP’s poor show due to the tie-up with the BSP.

Mulayam, who was expected to secure a win by a huge margin from Mainpuri, could secure a margin of just over ninety-four thousand votes.

While Mayawati’s BSP raised its tally from zero in the last Lok Sabha to 10 this time, BSP’s vote per cent remained more or less unchanged from 19.3 to 19.6 per cent. The SP failed to increase its tally, from five. It also lost out in terms of vote share – from 22 per cent in 2014 to 18 per cent in 2019.

The old war horse is now focussing on a complete overhaul of the party and its style of functioning. He categorically said in this closed-door meeting that Akhilesh’s spat with uncle Shivpal Yadav and the latter leaving the party was a big loss to them. He did not mince words in saying that it was high time Shivpal Yadav was brought back to the party fold.

Shivpal Yadav, a party veteran, is known as the ‘Chanakya’ of the party. He was instrumental in Ram Gopal Yadav’s son Akshay losing the Ferozabad seat.

Unlike his father, Akhilesh, this time, seemed to have lost connect with party workers and the voters alike. Though he did address many public meetings and rallies with BSP supremo Mayawati and RLD president Ajit Singh in the state, the personal touch was found missing.

Soon after the poll debacle and a dressing down from Mulayam, Akhilesh Yadav disbanded the entire team of party spokespersons and in a press release, advised the media not to invite anyone to represent his party in television debates. The heads of the four frontal organisations of the party – Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha, Samajwadi Lohia Vahini and Samajwadi Party Youth Brigade have also been removed.

Mayawati’s statement of breaking away from the SP, has become a major cause of concern for team Akhilesh. His team is said to be working hard in trying to connect with Mayawati and convince her not to break the Mahagathbandhan. Though Mayawati has not made any statement in the media so far, sources say that she could have made up her mind and it would not be easy for anyone now to make her budge from her stand.

Vivek Avasthi is Senior Editor, Politics, Business Television India (BTVI)