BJP slams SP-BSP alliance, Mamata welcomes tie-up

BSP SP Pawan Kumar presser BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav at the press conference to announce their alliance | Pawan Kumar

The BJP on Saturday said the SP and the BSP had come together for their survival, and not for the country or Uttar Pradesh, and downplayed suggestions that the alliance will have a major impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

"The SP and BSP have allied neither for the country nor for Uttar Pradesh. But for their survival. They know they cannot fight (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi on their own and their opposition to him is the sole base of their alliance," senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters on the sidelines of the party's ongoing National Council Meeting in New Delhi.

Prasad also rejected claims made by BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav that their coming together will have a major impact on the parliamentary poll results. "Elections are not about mathematics but chemistry," he said.

Prasad made these remarks just after Mayawati and Yadav announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each out of the state's 80 parliamentary constituencies.

BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya termed the SP-BSP joining hands as an "alliance of corruption and goondaism".

"And let me make it clear that people are solidly behind Modi and the BJP will do better than it did in 2014. The backward community is backing Modi," he said at the national convention.

On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the SP-BSP alliance. Banerjee had been touring the country over the past year, trying to build an opposition alliance to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections," Banerjee tweeted.

Banerjee had earlier suggested that an SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh would wipe out the BJP from the crucial North Indian state, that sends 80 MPs to the lower house of the Parliament.