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Mayawati, Akhilesh predict BJP rout

Akhilesh Yadav said the ruling party would win only 74 seats nationwide

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow

  • Published 15.03.19, 3:02 AM
  • Updated 15.03.19, 3:02 AM
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav PTI photo

Mayawati on Thursday claimed that BJP leaders themselves realised their party’s pitiable state in Uttar Pradesh while her ally Akhilesh Yadav said the ruling party would win only 74 seats nationwide in the general election.

“The BJP leadership’s restlessness has been apparent since they realised their defeat was inevitable. The party has proved that it holds the crown for lying and reneging on promises,” Mayawati told a Bahujan Samaj Party meeting in Lucknow.

She took a dig at the BJP’s 2014 campaign promise of bringing “achchhe din (good days)” to the country.

“They brought good days for themselves alone while the 130 crore people of the country struggled against inflation, poverty and unemployment,” she said.

Akhilesh, the Samajwadi Party president, told reporters that when BJP chief Amit Shah boasted that his party would win 74 seats, he was actually referring to the party’s likely tally from across the country.

Shah has been telling campaign rallies that the BJP and its allies would together win 74 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh — one more than last time.

Akhilesh said: “The situation is such that the BJP can win only 74 seats across the country because the voters are angry with the Prime Minister. Our soldiers are dying every day; the demonetisation and the GST have dragged small traders to poverty. People are waiting to teach the government a lesson.”

He chided state BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya for questioning the Samajwadi BSP alliance and highlighting the two parties’ past enmity.

“Let them look at their own (party’s) deplorable situation and leave me to work out my strategy,” Akhilesh said.

“They need not bother even if I hang myself from a tree. What they need to do is wait and watch how the angry voters dislodge them.”

Mayawati said the “supporters and workers” of the BSP, Samajwadis and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had resolved their past differences and were working together to defeat the BJP.

She said that with the model code of conduct in force, the birth anniversaries of BSP founder Kanshi Ram (March 15) and Babasaheb Ambedkar (April 14) would be low-key events.

The BSP, Samajwadis and the RLD will contest 38, 37 and three seats, respectively, leaving two constituencies — Rae Bareli and Amethi — free for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi as a goodwill gesture. The Congress has, however, decided to contest most of the seats in the state on its own.

“Akhilesh and Mayawati are daydreaming,” Pandey, the state BJP chief, said. “The people understand that their alliance is an opportunistic union of arch-rivals.”

According to police records, the accused in most of the cases of atrocities on Dalits — a BSP vote bank — are from the Other Backward Classes, who largely support the Samajwadis.

The Muslims and Jats of Uttar Pradesh had developed differences after the August-September 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. While the Jats support the RLD, the Muslim vote is divided among the Congress, Samajwadis and the RLD.

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