BSP will go it alone in 2024 Lok Sabha polls: Mayawati

Lucknow: BSP President Mayawati on Monday said her party would go it alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections, but she did not rule out a post-poll alliance.

Talking to reporters at the state party office on her birthday, she categorically denied reports in a section of the media about her retirement from politics.

She said the party would not forge any tie-up for the Lok Sabha elections, due in April-May, and would go it alone.

The party would consider aligning with any party after assessing the post-poll situation, she said.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had contested the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019 in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

“Our experience with alliances has never been beneficial for us and we suffer more losses from alliances. For this reason, most of the parties in the country want to form an alliance with BSP. An alliance can be considered after the elections. If possible, BSP can extend its support after the elections…our party will fight the elections all alone,” she said.

The former UP chief minister also hit out at the Centre and state government- both ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that the ruling party trying to make people its ‘slaves’ by providing them with some free ration instead of uplifting them from poverty.

“Instead of uplifting people from poverty and providing them employment, the central and state (UP) governments are providing them with some free ration and trying to make them their salves. However, our government in UP had provided people employment to empower them,” Mayawati said.

She also refuted the claims that she may take a retirement from politics, saying that she will continue to work to strengthen her party. “Last month, I declared Akash Anand as my political successor following which it was being speculated in media that I may soon retire from politics. However, I want to clarify that it’s not the case, and I will continue to work towards strengthening the party,” she said.

The BSP chief exhorted party leaders and workers to “work with full strength to help the BSP get a favourable verdict” in the 2024 election.
The BSP, a Scheduled Castes-centric party, was a major political force in Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s and 2000s but witnessed a gradual decline over the past decade.

In the 2022 assembly elections, the party polled only 12.8 per cent votes, its lowest in almost three decades.