New Delhi: Outfoxed by the ruling BJP in the keenly-fought battle for a Rajya Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party hinted that the setback in Friday's election was unlikely to impact its freshly-minted partnership with Akhilesh Yadav's party and launched a sharp attack on the Yogi Adityanath government for using money and fear to get lawmakers to switch sides, only because it wanted to defeat a Dalit. As for its new partner, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra declared, "we have no complaints".
"There was nothing wanting in the support from Samajwadi Party and Congress... They transferred votes to us," Mr Mishra told reporters after the BSP candidate Bhim Rao Ambedkar lost narrowly to the businessman backed by the BJP, Anil Aggarwal.
Mayawati had helped its arch rival for 25 years, the Samajwadi Party snatch two Lok Sabha seats including Gorakhpur that was earlier held by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Rajya Sabha election was seen as an opportunity to return the favour as part of this deal.
The BJP hopes that the defeat of Mayawati's candidate would sow doubts about the Samajwadi Party's ability to keep its end of the bargain.
For now, the BSP suggested that this is unlikely to happen any time soon and dropped hints that it would turn the defeat into effective campaign material in the next election.
Mr Mishra said the BJP had gone so far to ensure the defeat of its candidate "only because he is an Ambedkar, a Dalit".
"We will take this to the people and tell them how a Dalit candidate was defeated like this." Mr Mishra said. It is a point that Samajwadi Party's spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari had made minutes earlier.