BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav have expressed their confidence that alliance between the two parties will defeat the BJP in 2019 polls, but Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia) chief Shivpal Yadav sees the tie-up incomplete without his party. The former Uttar Pradesh minister, who had a fall out with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, said only a secular front can defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Shivpal Yadav, who is considered close to his brother Mulayam Singh, had floated his own party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia).

His remarks came hours after Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav formalised their alliance through a press conference in Lucknow. Both parties have decided to contest on an equal number of seats, 38 each, effectively leaving no space for Rahul Gandhi-led Congress. There are 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. The SP-BSP alliance, however, will not field candidates on Amethi and Rae Bareli, parliamentary seats currently held by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi. It is a major setback for Congress which was looking to forge an alliance with major regional parties to uproot BJP government from power.

On the other hand, BSP supremo Mayawati has accused Shivpal Yadav of launching a new outfit in order to dent the Samajwadi Party under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav in elections. Mayawati further alleged that Shivpal Yadav’s party has been funded by the BJP.

At the press conference, confident Mayawati said SP-BSP alliance will give PM Modi-Amit Shah sleepless nights. Akhilesh Yadav said the alliance will get the math in upcoming elections and will defeat the BJP. 

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