History holds many a skeleton in the closet of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh, but neither is willing to let that get in the way of their efforts to defeat the ruling BJP.
Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati will share a stage at a joint rally of the alliance in Mainpuri today, putting aside grievances of their shared past. Preparations are underway at Christian Field to send out a message to political opponents that the alliance against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh shares a strong bond, news agency PTI quoted a Samajwadi Party worker as saying.
Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati were unable to see eye-to-eye ever since an alliance between their parties came to a sordid end in 1995, when Samajwadi Party workers allegedly attacked a state guest house where the BSP chief was camping with her supporters. The immediate provocation was Mayawati's decision to withdraw from the government and join hands with the BJP.
The acrimony between the two, however, was not so easy to set aside. Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the party bastion of Mainpuri, had stayed away due to "health issues" from three joint rallies held earlier in Deoband, Badaun and Agra.
Besides Mulayam Singh Yadav, both Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati will address the rally along with Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh. Raj Kumar, the party's Sadar legislator, said Mulayam Singh Yadav will reach the venue by noon. Around 35,000 people will be provided with food packets on the occasion, he added.
While the BJP often refers to the 1995 guest house incident to describe the tie-up as impractical, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have both asked their respective party workers to set aside their differences and work towards ensuring victory in the state.
However, Mulayam Singh Yadav had delivered a shocker earlier this year when he controversially said in the Lok Sabha that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should emerge victorious in the general elections. While his comments was received with loud cheers by members of the ruling BJP, it left those in his own party scrambling for excuses.
(With inputs from PTI)