Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati will address a joint press conference today to formally announce an alliance between the two parties for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The press conference will take place in Lucknow at noon on January 12 at Lucknow’s Taj hotel. Both leaders had earlier met in Delhi last week to discuss the contours of the alliance. Rahul Gandhi-led Congress will not be a part of the alliance. However, the alliance will not field candidates on Rae Bareli and Amethi, which are traditional seats of Gandhi family. 

Ajit Singh’s RLD will also be a part of the SP-BSP alliance. Both SP and BSP are expected to contest on an equal number of seats, 37 each. The remaining seats would be left for RLD, Nishad Party, Peace Party and other smaller parties. Both SP and BSP are looking to replicate their last year’s bypolls success.

They had snatched Phulpur and Gorakhpur, considered to be a stronghold of the saffron party, from the BJP. Uttar Pradesh, which is crucial for coming General Elections, sends 80 parliamentarians in Lok Sabha. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its ally had swept the state, winning whopping 73 parliamentary seats.

Initially, there were reports that a formal announcement about the alliance may be made on Mayawati’s birthday on January 15. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly said that mahagathbandhan is an unholy alliance of various political parties for the survival in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. There so called grand alliances are a club of rich dynasties, the prime minister had said. 

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