Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav tieup about math, ephemeral chemistry

Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav tieup about math, ephemeral chemistry
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New Delhi: Those engaged in making doomsday prophesies about the BSP-SP alliance should hold their horses, for much has changed since the acrimonious break-up of the previous tie-up between the two caste based parties.
BJP winning the ninth Rajya Sabha seat, pipping SP supported BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar, has led many to announce that the Mayawati-Akhilesh alliance will not work. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath even cautioned her, saying SP can only take votes, not give to others.
Both SP and BSP have realised that they can counter the BJP juggernaut only by joining hands as they did in 1993 when the saffron party was riding the Ayodhya Ram temple wave. That alliance was stitched by Mayawati’s mentor Kanshi Ram and Mulayam Singh Yadav. However, she was at the receiving end when SP goons attacked the VIP guest house located on Meerabai Marg in Lucknow on June 2, 1995.
As is well-known, BJP leader Brahm Dutt Dwivedi—who was staying in the same guest house— came to her rescue. Mayawati became chief minister with BJP support that lasted 136 days. Mayawati is likely to have more trust on Akhilesh than she ever did on Mulayam Singh Yadav. Unlike Netaji, Akhilesh has some “don’ts” in his dictionary.
Mulayam was not averse to having leaders with criminal backgrounds around him but Akhilesh has tried to give his party an image makeover. He opposed entry of DP Yadav into SP in 2012. Similarly, he chose Jaya Bachchan over Naresh Agarwal though many felt the latter would be more useful in Parliament. Akhilesh had accommodated Congress in seat sharing during the 2017 Assembly elections and gave it more seats than Mulayam Singh Yadav would have. Mayawati is likely to find Akhilesh more amiable during seat distribution, arguably the biggest sticky point after viability of vote transfer.
The SP-BSP tie-up is a big worry for the BJP. Even in 2014 when BSP could not win a single Lok Sabha seat, it won 19.6% of the votes. SP has the loyal support of the Yadavs who constitute more than 11% of the votes. The alliance would also ensure where the 18% minority votes would go.
Fighting for their political survival, BSP and SP would be willing to transfer their votes in the manner they did in 1993 and the way RJD-JDU did in Bihar in 2015. The longevity of the alliance, however, remains doubtful.
This tie-up will be more about arithmetic and some ephemeral chemistry.