On October 29 Mayawati, said she and her part would deviate all their energy in the upcoming legislative assembly election in Uttar Pradesh to defeat Samajwadi Party (SP). The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader in a press conference even said that she and her party would give their vote to a BJP candidate or any other party candidate, to win over SP candidate out of power. With a tone of regret, Mayawati claimed that to it was a “mistake” to withdraw the 1995 case against the Samajwadi Party for the sake of their alliance.
Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav had a brief alliance in Uttar Pradesh during the national election last year, which flopped and now are back to being fierce rivals.
Lets look into the ups and downs of this alliance.
Gathbandhan Of early 1990s
The history of their alliance started when Kanshi Ram and Mulayam Singh Yadav came together in the early 1990s and formed a coalition government with Mulayam Singh Yadav as the Chief Minister in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This alliance saw victory in the assembly elections of 1993 against BJP.
The slogan used in the election campaign was “Mile Mulayam, Kanshi Ram, Hava mein ud gaye Jai Shri Ram.” The significance of the slogan was the ongoing Ram Janmabhoomi Movement.
During the 1991 and 1993 elections, in the state of undivided Uttar Pradesh, BSP contested for 164 seats and won 67 seats. SP competed for 256 seats and won 109 seats in the house of 425 which gave rise to a coalition government, with an outside support of Congress.
But this coalition government didn’t last for long.
History of rivalry between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party
In the year 1995, Mayawati the leader of BSP charged SP with accusations of usurping its voters and decided to bring an end to the alliance. After learning that the BSP has brought an end to the coalition, few leaders of the Samajwadi Party allegedly raided the Bahujan Samaj Party BSP by creating a breakaway group in BSP and merged the seceding group into SP to clutch the power firmly in their hands.
Later these leaders and few grassroots level workers of the SP then went to the guest house of BSP where there was an ongoing meeting. Suddenly the premise of the guest house was surrounded, and a rampage began with people armed with weapons and ‘lathis’.
It was reported that the workers of Samajwadi Party ‘ shouted casteist slurs at her (Mayawati) and threatened her.” The SP is accused of having beaten up the members and representatives of BSP. The representatives also allegedly reported that they were ‘held against their will’ and the mob that broke an entry to the guest house resorted to beat up Mayawati who was saved by members of her party present in the meeting. This event had grabbed the headlines and was named the ‘Guest House Episode’ which made a place in the history of regional politics.
It was this incident that led to a cutthroat and bitter two-decade split. After the tragic fall of this coalition government of BSP and SP, BJP extended its hand for support to Mayawati and her party to form the government. According to few political analysts this alliance of 1995 was an attempt to divide the Dalit, Other Backward Castes (OBC) and Muslim vote banks of SP and BSP.
Since then the wind was blowing quite challenging for both the parties as the two have alternatively held power in the state of Uttar Pradesh and left no stone unturned in accusing each other of corruption charges and physical assaults. The dislike regarding each other was openly professed by the leaders of the two parties in press conferences and election rallies since 1995.
Mahagathbandhan of 2019
It was only in the by-elections of March 2018, wherein Mayawati ordered the BSP voters to cast their votes to SP candidates. This change of heart resulted in the defeat of BJP candidates in the constituency of Gorakhpur and Phulpur.
The Mahagathbandhan of 2019 was an anti-Congress and anti-BJP alliance of BSP and SP united to run the general elections of 2019 under the leadership of Uttar Pradesh’s two former Chief Ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. The two parties had the support of Rashtriya Lok Dal’s leader Ajit Singh.
In the state of Uttar Pradesh two seats were left by the Mahagathbandhan for the President of Congress Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi to contest in the general elections of 2019. The long lost coalition alliance was restored and brought together the age-old “arch rivals” of the past.
With the sole agenda to oppose BJP’s candidate Narendra Modi in the general elections of 2019 the Mahagathbandhan aimed to compete using caste vote bank tactic which tasted dust. In June 2019, Mayawati heavily blamed the general elections defeat of the Mahagathbandhan on the incompetence of the SP, its failure to strengthen the votes of Dalit, OBC and Muslims.
The fierce rivalry of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav has grabbed the attention with the recent statement made by former, which is views an after effect of the flop show of their alliance in the general elections in 2019.
She said “We have decided that to defeat Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate in future MLC (Member of Legislative Council) elections in UP” and is ready to devote all energies and time even if we have to give our vote to a BJP candidate or any other party candidate. Mayawati affirmed that any party candidate who will be dominant over Samajwadi’s second candidate would get all BSP MLAs vote while addressing the Press Conference.
The comments of BSP leader Mayawati links to her mishap ahead of polls on November 9 for ten seats of Rajya Sabha in the state Uttar Pradesh.
Ramji Gautam is the candidate of Bahujan Samaj Party for one of the seats in Rajya Sabha even though it lacks the numbers in the assembly. BSP leaders indicate that the support of other non-BJP parties is a possibility.
Meanwhile, four amongst the ten MLAs of Mayawati’s party who had given the name of the candidate Ramji Gautam, allegedly reported that their signatures on the nomination paper were forged and indicated a possibility of switching sides. One of the MLAs also revealed that she previously met with Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and the other claimed that he was “known to treat the members of his party with respect.”
Infuriated by such comments made by the MLAs of her party, Mayawati lashed out at Akhilesh Yadav and affirmed that the decision taken by her to side with him for the Lok Sabha election was a huge mistake. She also said that she was disappointed by the behaviour of the Samajwadi Party’s leaders and members.
Former Chief Minister Mayawati said they worked hard alongside with SP during the Lok Sabha election in UP, but Akhilesh Yadav asked her to take back my case. She continued that BSP joined hand with SP to fight communal forces during the Lok Sabha elections. However, she claimed that due to family infighting, SP could not gain much from the alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party and after the election they stopped responding to SP; hence we decided to part ways with them.
Way before the announcement of outright support to the BJP on Thursday, BSP has been gearing up to play a remarkably chunky role in the high-stakes by-election to 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh, where it has had little success in recent polls.
The Madhya Pradesh election will mostly see some sensational episodes as though BSP and SP have split they are seen as a threat by bigger political parties, which is evident from the viral audio, wherein Digvijaya Singh was trying to convenience SP candidate Roshan Mirza from Gwalior to withdraw.
The interesting relationship of the two parties has brought in many ups and downs in the Uttar Pradesh’s political history. The rival turned allies who are back at level zero are the main opposition to BJP and Congress which is now seen to be blurring away.
Objectives of the general elections are lost in the fog, and both the parties are digging the dysfunctional components. The future of the two seems quite hazed for now; only time could tell whether the arch-rivals will find their way back or will it remain divided as it is now.