Samajwadi Secular Morcha leader Shivpal Yadav on Saturday ruled out forming an alliance with the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, saying "we are secular" and there was no question of such a tie-up.
Mr Yadav launched his front on August 29, after being allegedly sidelined in the Samajwadi Party by his estranged nephew and SP president Akhilesh Yadav. Shivpal Yadav has said his front will contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the next general election.
"We are secular people and we have always been against the Bharatiya Janata Party. We are samajwadis (socialists) and there is no question of joining the BJP," he told reporters.
To a question on extending support to elder brother Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri in 2019 election, he said: "I've offered him to contest as a Samajwadi Secular Morcha candidate from Mainpuri... But even if he contests from any other party, we will support him." He reiterated his previous stance that the Morcha will field candidates on all other seats.
Asked whether he would ever return to the Samajwadi Party, Mr Yadav said, "We have taken this step after a lot of thinking. We always wanted to remain united but we got only disrespect. We made Samajwadi Secular Morcha with the permission of neta ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav). We have moved forward and we won't step back."
Shivpal Yadav refused to comment on the possibility of an alliance between the BSP and the SP, saying it was up to Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav.