In the run-up to the 2022 assembly elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party (SP) party leader Akhilesh Yadav announced on Thursday that his party would be forming alliances with smaller parties in the upcoming elections. With the statement, he has almost completely ruled out the possibility of an electoral alliance with other significant parties like the Mayawati led BSP or the Congress party.
The move is seen as a part of the party’s effort to expand its vote base from the traditional Muslim-Yadav core vote bank. The Akhilesh led party is expected to create an umbrella alliance by bringing together several smaller parties which represent the Dalits and the other backward castes in Uttar Pradesh. Mahan Dal, Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party(SBSP) and dissatisfied factions of the Nishad and Apni party are expected to form alliances with the SP.
Earlier, the SP had formed an alliance with the Congress in the 2017 assembly elections and with the BSP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, on both occasions, the alliances could not stop the BJP juggernaut in the state.
In his statement to news agency ANI, the SP leader and the former chief minister of UP also accused the ruling BJP of trying to avoid talking on real issues like unemployment, inflation and the promise to double farmer’s income. Akhilesh further attacked the Yogi Adityanath government and accused his government of stopping infrastructure projects launched during the SP government.
Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go to elections early next year as the term of the Yogi Adityanath led BJP government comes to an end in March 2022. The last assembly elections in 2017 had been swept by the BJP with the party winning 312 seats out of 403.