EVM Row: Mayawati, Akhilesh, Azad For Grand Alliance Against BJP
Lucknow: Bitter rivals in Uttar Pradesh till the other day, Mayawati, BSP supremo, and Akhilesh Yadav, SP boss, found themselves on the same page in the ongoing debate on tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM).
Akhilesh welcomed the views of Mayawati on forming Grand Alliance against the BJP to save ‘democracy’. She expressed her preparedness to join hands with other opposition parties in order to defeat the BJP. Soon after Akhilesh said it is a good idea, Ghulam Nabi Azad, General Secretary of the Congress, which is already in alliance with SP, called it a ‘good thinking’.
In fact, Akhilesh had suggested an alliance with the BSP hours before the UP Assembly results were announced on March 5. But the results were so one-sided and devastating that the combined strength of the SP, the Congress and BSP in the new Assembly would be less than one fourth of the BJP’s tally. While the SP won 47 seats and the BSP 19, the Congress had to be content with just seven seats. Akhilesh also supported Mayawati when she alleged that the EVMs have been tampered and manipulated in favour of the BJP. Akhilesh,43, reiterated his view by saying that the BJP has come to power in UP through fraudulent means.
Mayawati,61, told her supporters,”if other non-BJP parties want to come with us in the ongoing struggle against the tampering of the EVMs, we have no objection.” That was the moment of thaw in the relationship between the SP and the BSP. “Because democracy ( which was under threat due to tampering of EVMs) comes first, if democracy does not survive, the right to vote that Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar gave you , will not have a meaning,” she added.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the BJP would win even more comfortably if the opposition parties get together