The political landscape of Uttar Pradesh is heating up as the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach. In an interesting development, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has softened his stand on arch rival Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati.
Addressing a recent party meeting, Akhilesh advised SP leaders to refrain from making controversial statements against Mayawati and asked them to respect her. This has fueled speculation that he is open to BSP joining the proposed grand alliance or ‘India Alliance’ against the ruling BJP.
However, BSP has maintained that it will contest the 2024 polls alone. Sources close to Mayawati indicate she is unlikely to be part of any alliance as she prepares to make a major announcement on January 15th, her birthday.
Meanwhile, seat-sharing talks between SP and Congress made little headway in a short 10-minute meeting in Delhi on Tuesday. SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav reiterated that BSP had unilaterally broken its alliance with SP in the past. But Akhilesh’s softened stance marks a tectonic shift in UP’s political landscape.
As arch rivals SP and BSP contemplate coming together once again, the road to 2024 looks rocky for BJP. The possibility of a united opposition alliance looms large over UP which is critical to BJP’s national ambitions. The months leading up to the polls will see shifting political sands and new alliances as parties battle for supremacy in India’s most populous state.