Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati has called off her party’s ‘grand alliance’ with Akshilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh and decided to go solo in the upcoming bypoll for 11 Assembly seats.
In a meeting with her party people on Monday, Mayawati termed the alliance as bekar (useless) as there was no transfer of ‘Yadav votes’ to her party candidates in the recently held Lok Sabha elections.
She also derided Akhilesh Yadav for being unable to ensure his wife Dimple Yadav’s win. Dimple lost the Kannuaj Lok Sabha seat, which has over 3.5 lakh Yadav voters. The seat was held by her family members since 1999.
Both BSP and SP had contested 38 seats each in the state, while leaving the remainder of 80 Lok Sabha seats to other smaller parties in their ‘grand alliance’. While BSP’s tally went up from zero to 10 in 2019 elections, compared to 2014, SP remained the same with 5 seats.
Incidentally, the purpose of grand alliance was to stop the BJP from winning a significant number of seats from the state, and thereby, prevent Narendra Modi’s return as prime minister. The arithmetic of SP and BSP vote banks also indicated they could win most of the 80 seats if contested in alliance.
During the campaign, Akhilesh Yadav had repeatedly backed Mayawati for Prime Minister in case of a hung Parliament. In return, Mayawati’s BSP would help him return to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2022 Assembly elections, reports said.
However, the BJP alliance ended up bagging 64 LS seats in the state, crushing Mayawati’s hope for a grand show and the prime minister’s post.
Uttar Pradesh police have registered an FIR against Azam Khan for making derogatory comment against actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada.
The Samajwadi Party’s (SP) candidate from Rampur Lok Sabha constituency, Khan was addressing a campaign rally on April 14, when made the sexist comment against his opponent from the BJP.
Khan said: “I brought her to Rampur. You are a witness to the fact that I did not allow anyone to touch her body. It took you 17 years to identify her real face, but I got to know in 17 days that her underpants beneath are of khaki”. (An apparent reference to her “leaning towards RSS”).
The police booked Khan under IPC Section 509 (for insulting the modesty of woman). At the same the National Commission for Women has also sent him a notice over the remark.
Incidentally the rivalry between Khan and Jayaprada goes back to a decade. The multi-language actress, Jayaprada joined the Andra Pradesh based TDP in 1994. In 2004, she shifted base and joined the SP and contested and won the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Rampur parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Again 2009 Lok Sabha elections she was the Rampur seat for SP. But a controversy erupted when she alleged that SP leader Azam Khan distributed her nude pictures.
After an party’s internal feud between Khan and another tall leader of SP, Amar Singh, Jayaprada was expelled from the SP. Later, Amar Singh, along with her floated a new party and contested the 2012 Assembly polls, but failed to win any seat.
Ahead of 2014 general elections, both of them joined RLD. Jayaprada contested the poll from the Bijnoor seat and lost.
Eventually on March 26, Jayaprada joined the BJP and secured the ticket to contest from the Rampur seat again.