Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (R) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati take part in a press conference to announce their political alliance. Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav (R) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati take part in a press conference to announce their political alliance. Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP

Mumbai: The Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party Tuesday announced they would contest all 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra in alliance. Announcing the alliance, SP MLA Abu Asim Azmi said the two parties together represent about “85-90 per cent” of the society and provided a third front for people let down by the BJP and Congress.

“Secularism is about to end in the country. Those who call themselves chowkidars can go to any length, and peddle lies, to cling on to power,” he alleged.

He claimed only the SP-BSP alliance was strong enough to stop the BJP from winning over 5-7 seats in Maharashtra. Attacking the Congress, Azmi said the main opposition party had made Muslims, Dalits and the backward classes ‘helpless’, as there was no third alternative available for people.

“However, after our decision to contest all 48 seats, a third front will be available. We represent 85-90 per cent of society,” he claimed.

Azmi said discussions on the seat-sharing formula was yet to begin between the two parties and a committee had been formed to take it forward. The formula would be announced in two to three days, he asserted. He added that no other party had approached them as yet to be part of the alliance.

BSP MP Ashok Siddharth alleged the Congress’ policies for Muslims, Dalits and backward classes remained on paper and could not penetrate to the ground level, adding that the SP-BSP will ensure these policies reach the common man. Siddharth said BSP chief Mayawati will address a public rally in Nagpur on April 5 and the party would also request SP chief Akhilesh Yadav to be part of it.

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