Mayawati Akhilesh Yadav to hold joint press meet likely to declare seat sharing pact in Uttar Pradesh

India

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will address a joint press conference in Lucknow on Saturday. It is expected that the two former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers will formally announce their pre-poll alliance for Lok Sabha election 2019 during their press conference.

The press meet is slated to be held at noon on Saturday. The development comes almost a month after Zee News reported that the two parties, which have a stronghold in Uttar Pradesh, have finalised their seat-sharing agreement. Notably, the Congress, which was earlier expected to be a part of the united opposition alliance in the state, has been left out of the alliance.

Sources had told Zee News that the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is also a part of the seat-sharing deal. While the Samajwadi Party and the BSP are expected to contest the elections on equal number of seats, the RLD is likely to get three seats to field its candidates.

As Uttar Pradesh comprises 80 Lok Sabha seats, the coming together of the BSP and the SP is likely to give a tough fight to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The alliance had defeated the BJP is its bastions of Gorakhpur and Phulpur in the last bypoll in the constituencies.

This comes amid a political controversy over reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to question Akhilesh Yadav in illegal mining case. The Samajwadi Party chief has, however, said that he is ready to face the agency.

Accusing the BJP of political witch hunt, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said, “Samajwadi Party is making efforts to win maximum Lok Sabha seats. Those who want to stop us, have the CBI with them. Once the Congress did CBI probe, and I was questioned. If the BJP is doing all this, the CBI will question me, I will answer (them). But, the people are ready to give an answer to the BJP.”

The BSP has also rallied behind Akhilesh, alleging that the BJP-led central government was trying to use the CBI for political means.

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