Within months of stitching an alliance in Uttar Pradesh, leaders of Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party, who were once political rivals, seem to be forging personal bonds as well. On Thursday, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav touched Mayawati's feet in a display of respect. The BSP president, who was in Kannauj to campaign for Dimple Yadav, also showered praise on her.
"SP president Akhilesh Yadav respects me as an elder of the family and after this alliance, I have accepted Dimple as a part of my family," Mayawati was quoted by news agency ANI.
Dimple Yadav is the current parliamentarian from Kannauj, which was previously held by her husband.
Mayawati also appealed to the people present at the rally to vote for Dimple Yadav. "Make her (Dimple) win by record margin," she said.
The SP and the BSP were bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh. However, the BJP's landslide wins in 2014 general election and the UP assembly polls, forced the parties to have a rethink on their political equation.
The SP-BSP's joint candidate's win in BJP stronghold Gorakhpur bypoll sealed the deal as the two parties agreed to contest the Lok Sabha poll together in seat-sharing arrangement.
The SP is contesting in 37 seats, the BSP in 38 and the RLD in three.
Uttar Pradesh's legendary rivals Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav recently came together on one stage more than two decades after their bitter falling out. The rare sight was followed by the even more unusual occurrence of Mayawati canvassing for Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party workers had manhandled her 24 years ago in the notorious "Guest House" incident.
In Kannauj, polling will be held on April 29, and counting of votes will take place on May 23.
With inputs from ANI