Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) appears to have reaped more benefits from the gathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh than Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP), election results and trends are showing.
The Samajwadi Party, which took the lead in proposing the gathbandhan and also suggested that it was willing to take lesser seats than the BSP has largely been limited to its traditional family bastions of like Azamgarh and Mainpuri. In Firozabad, Badaun and Kannauj, members of the Yadav family are facing a tough fight. The party, at the time of writing this report, was leading only in seven seats.
“We are committed to the alliance with the BSP and will continue working with them, even if we have to sacrifice 2-4 seats, we are not going to stop. We will bring the BJP down,” Akhilesh Yadav had said in June 2018.
The BSP, on the other hand, is leading on at least 13 seats in the state, including Ambedkar Nagar, Jaunpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Ghazipur in eastern UP and Bijnor and Meerut in the western part of the state.
The combined vote share of the two parties is around 40 per cent.
It is believed that the BSP transfers its core vote to an ally more efficiently than the SP does. The latter’s core vote comes from the Yadav community, which may have been upset with Akhilesh Yadav’s brother Dharmendra Yadav and wife Dimple Yadav touching Mayawati’s feet and the lack of a similar response from the BSP chief’s nephew who she is training as a successor.