Mayawati offers a ‘conditional divorce’

Eleven Assembly bypolls are due in UP after the MLAs there won the Lok Sabha polls.

New Delhi: Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Tuesday proposed a conditional divorce to alliance partner Samajwadi Party, saying that her party would fight the coming Assembly byelections in Uttar Pradesh on its own but could work with the SP in the future.

In a statement, she said though she has been given a lot of respect by the Yadav clan and her family ties with them would remain, "political compulsions" were now forcing her to take this decision.

The SP was quick to hit back. Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said he was ready to also fight the bypolls alone if she does, and his wife Dimple Yadav tweeted that Ms Mayawati was "arrogant".

A day after she held a review meeting on the Lok Sabha polls, Ms Mayawati on Tuesday read out a statement to the media that the BSP's relationship with the SP was never going to end and that she would try to ensure that their relationship remains intact.

"On the other hand, political compulsions cannot be ignored completely and everyone knows that," she said, adding: "The bypolls can be announced any moment now. Under the current conditions in Uttar Pradesh, we have decided to fight the bypolls — which will happen in some seats — all alone."

"If I feel that the SP president is able to fulfil his duties and convert his people into missionaries, then we can still walk together in future. There has been no permanent break as of now," she said.

Despite the much-touted poll arithmetic of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in UP, the BJP won 62 of the 80 seats in the state while the "Mahagathbandhan" bagged just 15 seats, with the BSP winning 10 and the SP five.

Eleven Assembly bypolls are due in UP after the MLAs there won the Lok Sabha polls. While nine BJP MLAs emerged victorious in the parliamentary polls, one each from the BSP and SP were elected to the Lower House.

"I have to say with much sadness that the SP's base vote - means 'Yadav samaj' — has not stood along with the SP even in areas where they are in high numbers. Dimple Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav and Ram Gopal Yadav have lost elections from Kannauj, Badaun and Firozabad respectively, and it has made us think a lot," she added. Akhilesh Yadav reacted to the statement at Ghazipur in UP. "Even if our paths are different, we welcome it. If the alliance ends, we will field SP candidates in all 11 seats up for bypolls after consulting party leaders soon," he told the media. He said what was more important than the alliance's future was the killing of SP workers.

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