Any Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party tie-up for Lok Sabha elections will only be a "limited period" partnership between two "opportunist" individuals to remain politically relevant and not an alliance of two parties, according to Union Minister Anupriya Patel.
Anupriya Patel, leader of Apna Dal which is an ally of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, is confident of the NDA repeating its performance of 2014 Lok Sabha polls in 2019.
The BJP-led NDA got 73 seats out of 80 in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 elections including two of Apna Dal.
The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which contested last general elections separately, have given indications that both parties will contest 2019 general elections together to take on the BJP
"Each and every individual of Uttar Pradesh knows that the SP and the BSP, which have always been arch rivals of each other, are coming together to stop Modiji," Anupriya Patel told PTI.
Describing the talks of SP-BSP alliance as "opportunism", she said people of the state will not accept this tie-up.
Emphasising that the entire politics of these two parties is based "on opposition to each other", she said, "This will not be an alliance of two parties but a partnership between two individuals to remain politically relevant."
She said unlike the BJP and the Apna Dal, there is no chemistry between these "two opportunists".
Without naming Mayawati, Anupriya said the top leadership of the BSP does not have the temperament to be in alliance.
She also claimed that these two parties may contest 2019 general elections together, but it is almost impossible for them to stick together in next state assembly elections.
Replying to a question on the prospects for NDA in next general elections, she said there is no leader equivalent to the stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Even SP-BSP alliance will not be able to stand against the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said the Minister of State for Health at the centre.
When asked about the recent reverses suffered by the BJP-led NDA in by-polls to Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana Lok Sabha seats, the minister attributed it to local factors, but at the same time asserted that there is "pro-incumbency' for both the centre and state governments.
Citing various welfare initiatives taken by the Modi government in last four years, Anupriya Patel, who is a lawmaker from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, said people have appreciated and recognised their work.
Uttar Pradesh is important in NDA's scheme of things for 2019 as it sends the highest number of lawmakers to Lok Sabha.