Camaraderie between Mayawati and Pawan Kalyan was on display today in Lucknow as the two leaders announced their alliance for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, and general elections in Telangana. The two leaders praised each other, with Mayawati saying that she wished the actor-turned-politician became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. In response Pawan Kalyan, the leader of Jana Sena, said he wanted the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president to become the Prime Minister of the country. "This is our wish and our ardent desire," he said.
Announcing the alliance, Mayawati said people of Andhra Pradesh wanted change."Parliamentary and state assembly elections are due in Andhra Pradesh. People of Andhra Pradesh want change, they want new people to come (to power). BSP with Pawan Kalyan led Jana Sena Party and some communist parties will contest the elections in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana," she said.
The announcement is a blow to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who was in talks with Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav last year for a pan-India, anti-BJP alliance. There were reports that Mr Naidu may revive his ties with actor Pawan Kalyan's party in the state for the Lok Sabha elections.
In 2014, Mr Naidu had formed an alliance with the BJP and Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena, which later fell through.
Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati had surprised the Congress when they didn't include the party in their Mahagathbandhan or grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
"I want Pawan Kalyan to become Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. There is no dispute on seat sharing in Parliamentary or state Assembly elections," Mayawati said.
Mayawati said her party was ready to ally with any regional party that is opposed to the BJP.
In January, Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena firmed up its electoral alliance with CPI and CPM for the assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.
Pawan Kalyan had also met Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and his son and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working President KT Rama Rao in January.
The special status to Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the biggest election issue in the state. While YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy carried out a state-wide yatra over the demand, N Chandrababu Naidu ended his alliance with the BJP.
With inputs from ANI, PTI