Days after she vowed to defeat candidates of Samajwadi Party (SP) even if that meant voting for the BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati today said she would "rather retire from politics" than enter into an alliance with the BJP.
"The alliance of the BJP with the BSP is not possible in any polls in future. The BSP cannot contest with a communal party," she said today in a media briefing. "Our ideology is of 'sarvajan sarva dharma hitay' (benefit of everyone and all religions) and is opposite to the BJP's ideology...The BSP cannot enter into an alliance with those having a communal, casteist, and capitalist ideology."
The BSP chief had said last week that to ensure the defeat of Samajwadi candidates in future elections, including those of the state legislative council and the Rajya Sabha, her party would even vote for the BJP or any other party's candidate.
She reiterated that the BSP would ensure the defeat of the SP's second candidate in future legislative council polls.
"Our party will support the candidate of any party, including the BJP, which is strong, to defeat the second candidate of the SP," she said. "I stand by my earlier statement, which has been twisted by the SP and the Congress for political gains so that the Muslim community distances itself from the party."
The SP had last week attacked Mayawati for allegedly siding with the BJP and fielding a candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls without seeking support from opposition parties in the state.
This followed Mayawati suspending seven of her MLAs for anti-party activities after they opposed the nomination of a party candidate for the Rajya Sabha polls. It was amid speculation of these suspended MLAs switching sides that Mayawati had said that to ensure the SP candidate's defeat in future MLC polls, her party will even vote for the BJP or any other party's nominee.
In recent times, media reports have often suggested the BSP's softening of stance against the BJP. Mayawati's rivals have suspected her of trying to split the anti-BJP votes not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. UP Congress chief Ajay Lallu had even gone to the extent of reportedly saying that the "BSP is soon going to merge with the BJP".
The BSP had contested the 2019 national elections allying with the SP, a long time rival till the 2017 UP assembly elections. However, within weeks of the BJP sweeping the national polls, Mayawati announced in June 2019 that her party's alliance with the SP had been terminated.