Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati will be campaigning for her long time rival Mulayam Singh Yadav at his home turf Mainpuri, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The campaign will kick-start with a joint rally with Samajwadi Chief Akhilesh Yadav on April 19th. The two party chiefs are also planning to hold joint rallies in 11 constituencies, including Faizabad Kannauj, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur. The first joint rally will be held in Deoband on April 7. They will also be conducting joint rallies in Varanasi, where Narendra Modi would be contesting.
Responding to media, Akhilesh Yadav said, “We held a meeting with Mayawati to finalize the programme of joint rallies for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. We will begin our joint campaign during Navratri,” Public functions and campaigning stages are shared by both party representatives since the declaration of BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
Same formula of alliance was once tested and succeeded in the 1993 elections, when SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP founder-chief Kanshi Ram joined forces to outrun BJP from gaining popularity in the post-Ram temple movement in the country. The alliance succeeded in outflanking BJP
However, this affinity didn’t last long after the infamous Meera Bai Marg guest house incident, wherein Samajwadi Party followers misbehaved with Mayawati. Since then, Mayawati and Mulayam Singh have been arch-rivals, and it has remained so for the last two decades.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said on Sunday that BSP Chief Mayawati campaigning for SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav would be an insult to Yadav.
“If this (Mayawati campaigning for Mulayam Singh Yadav) actually happens, it will amount to a severe insult to a socialist stalwart like Mulayam Singh Yadav,” he said.