Press Trust of india

Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati to hold joint presser Saturday

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Lucknow, Jan 12:  Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati will address a joint press meet here Saturday, amid talks of seat sharing for Lok Sabha polls from which the Congress seems to be out.

This was announced Friday by SP national secretary Rajendra Chaudhary and Bahujan Samaj Party national general secretary SC Misra.

The top leadership of both the parties had met in New Delhi recently to discuss broad parameters of an alliance to take on the BJP unitedly in the Lok Sabha elections.

The joint press conference at a posh hotel here will be the first after the parties gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The two party chiefs had given their “in principle” approval to the alliance, which has shut its doors to the Congress in the state.

Sources said that both SP and BSP are planning to contest on 37 seats each out of the 80 on offer in Uttar Pradesh and plan to leave just two, Rae Bareli and Amethi, the bastions of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for the Congress.

Smaller parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Nishad Party are also likely to be in the alliance.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in UP.

Last year, Yadav and Mayawati decided to bury their differences and pool in their resources to contest three bypolls and won all. It gave them hope that if they team up, they can pull voters away from the BJP.

The mahagathbandhan arithmetic had worked in the bypolls as a consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered joint opposition candidates to victory in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana last year.

If they try to replicate their success in the 2019 national polls, it could might upset the apple cart of the BJP, which recently lost three major state elections.

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