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Delayed tieup with BSP hurt us: SP MPs

Winning party candidates say Congress presence in the alliance would have been beneficial.

, ET Bureau|
May 27, 2019, 07.00 AM IST
SP leaders say alliance must continue and work together for 2022 state polls.
NEW DELHI: Breaking their silence over the debacle in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders said the SP-BSP alliance was delayed and its message did not reach the people, adding that the Congress should have been part of the alliance.

“I think our (SP and BSP) vote could not assemble together... people also got less time to understand our message. Gathbandan mein thodi der hui (the alliance got a bit delayed),” ST Hasan, one of the party’s five victorious candidates in this election, told ET. Hasan has won the Moradabad seat for the Samajwadi Party.

Another winner, SR Barq, who has secured the Sambhal seat for SP, pointed to the party’s loss in Badaun where SP president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav lost. Barq said Dharmendra is saying Yadavs did not vote enmasse for the alliance while Jatavs and Muslims did. “BSP voters were with us diligently,” Barq said, adding that local politics hurt them as leaders denied tickets due to alliance seat-division “worked at cross-purposes”.

Besides Hasan and Barq, the only other winning SP candidates were Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan. Hasan and Barq differed on the Congress role. “They (Congress) hurt us on many seats and cut our votes. In my Moradabad seat, they put up Imran Pratapgari to just cut votes,” Hasan said.

But Barq said if Congress was part of the alliance, it would have been beneficial. “Gathbandan aur mazboot ho jata… natije behtar aate (the alliance would have been strengthened and produced better results). Problem was Congress wanted more seats,” Barq said.

Both Hasan and Barq said the alliance must continue and work together for the 2022 state elections. “It is not that we did not get vote anywhere. People will now realise what has happened. BJP government has persecuted Dalits and Muslims and it will go on for next five years, so unity of these communities would increase,” Hasan said. Asked who would be the chief ministerial face of the alliance in 2022, Akhilesh or Mayawati, Hasan said “the top leadership would decide that”. Barq also said the alliance should go on. “We must consolidate votes. We have to find out ki iss baar kya gadbad ho gayi (what went wrong this time),” he said.

Asked about Akhilesh Yadav’s future after two consecutive losses for the party under his leadership (in the 2017 and the 2019 elections), he said a detailed introspection was needed.

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