- "We have to ensure the BJP is defeated": Akhilesh Yadav
- Last month, opposition-backed candidate bagged Kairana seat
- It is clear the SP-BSP relationship will be high-maintenance
"Our alliance with BSP will continue, in 2019 even if we have to give up a few seats we will do it. We have to ensure the BJP is defeated," Akhilesh Yadav said at a public meeting on Sunday in Mainpuri.
Last month, an opposition backed candidate bagged the Kairana parliamentary seat in the third setback in a row for the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati's BSP had joined forces to snatch two BJP strongholds earlier -- Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's Gorakhpur and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya's Phulpur.
Days after that victory, Akhilesh Yadav told NDTV: "I am ready to be practical. From my side, I know I have to run this alliance. This alliance is important. If I have to take two steps back, I am willing to do it."
The victories have been taken by the opposition as a workable template for a similar alliance to take on the BJP in 2019.
While insisting the alliance remained strong, she also implied that SP lawmakers should have supported her party man at the cost of their candidate.
When Mayawati said at her party's leadership meet recently that she would go for partnerships only if the BSP's share of seats was respectable, it stumped the SP somewhat.
The BJP seized on the comments.
"Bua (Mayawati) and Babua (Akhilesh Yadav) will finish off with fighting among themselves. This isn't an alliance based on issues. An issue-less alliance never works. They will be finished before the election (2019) comes," UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya of the BJP said on Sunday.
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