Bengaluru: Once arch-rivals in Uttar Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav today come together on a public platform, for the first time.
The one-time rivals greeted each other warmly, waved to the crowds and sat next to each other even as the United Opposition walked in for the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as Karnataka chief minister.
The two former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh were seated next to each other and were seen sharing light moments. SP and BSP recently fought Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-elections together and ignited speculation of forging a pre-poll alliance for Lok Sabha elections 2019.
The two parties also fighting the May 28 by-election in Kairana together. The SP and the BSP are backing the Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate in that Lok Sabha constituency, reported a leading daily.
Not just BSP-SP, TMC and Left bonhomie on display
Mayawati also chatted with Sonia Gandhi, holding her hands throughout, and her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The new-found bonhomie between Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav was on full display even as many other political rivals converged on one stage, seen to be opening a front against Narendra Modi-led BJP for 2019 polls. Mamata Banerjee and Sitaram Yechury, who don’t see eye to eye in West Bengal were seen exchanging greetings in Karnataka.
Cabinet berth likely for BSP in K’taka govt
The swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy came to be seen as Opposition’s “show of strength” ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The BSP had a pre-poll tie-up with the JDS and it has won one Assembly seat in Karnataka. The party is likely to get a berth in the Kumaraswamy Cabinet.