Developments in Bihar positive sign for national politics: Akhilesh Yadav

LUCKNOW, Aug 18:
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Thursday that the political shift in Bihar is a “positive sign” and hoped a strong alternative to the BJP is formed in the 2024 Parliamentary polls.
He also claimed that the BJP’s allies in Uttar Pradesh are not happy with it and will also break free from the saffron party in the future.
JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar recently dumped the BJP and joined hands with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and other parties to form a new Government in Bihar.
In an interview to PTI at the party headquarter here, Yadav said his party is focusing on strengthening and restructuring its organisation and will be holding a national convention this year.
The SP chief also accused the Election Commission of “dishonesty” and blamed it for his party’s defeat in the assembly polls as well in the bypolls to Azamgarh and Ramgarh seats.
When asked about the developments in Bihar, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said, “It (Bihar development) is a positive sign for the country’s politics.”
“Political allies are not happy with the BJP. See in UP what they (BJP allies) are getting. One day they will also run away from them,” he said without elaborating.
The BJP had tied up with the Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad party in the assembly polls.
About the 2024 Parliamentary Polls, Yadav said, “I hope a strong alternative will be formed against the BJP and people will support it.”
About his party’s role in the formation of an alternative, Yadav said, “Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar are working on it. Our focus as of now is strengthening our party in the state.”
After the political upheaval in neighbouring Bihar, talks started doing the rounds in Uttar Pradesh if it could be replicated in the most populous state which sends maximum 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.
It was also debated in political circles if Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati would again combine against the BJP in 2024.
Though the “Bua-Babua” (Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav) failed to stop the BJP in Uttar Pradesh in 2019, they managed to lower its tally to 62 from 71 in 2014.
The BJP’s number went up to 64 after victory in Azamgarh and Rampur in by-election. Its ally Apna Dal (Sonelal) led by union minister of state Anupriya Patel has two MPs.
In the opposition camp, the BSP has 10 MPs while Yadav’s strength has come down to three from five after the bypoll defeat. Congress president Sonia Gandhi is the lone representative of her party from UP.
Though there is no early indication of a realignment of parties in Uttar Pradesh, BJP leaders have already dismissed any impact on them if it comes, saying the different combination of opposition parties have faced drubbing from the saffron party in 2014 as well in 2019 and also state polls.
Yadav said the SP will hold a national convention this year and the focus is on strengthening the party at the booth level.
“Our membership drive is going on and is getting a good response. This time the drive is through mobile app, online and QR code also besides traditional ways,” he added. (PTI)