Maya-Akhilesh join hands in Madhya Pradesh, 4 other states for LS polls

NEW DELHI: After Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Bengal, the idea of a grand alliance or “mahagathbandhan” of opposition parties against the ruling BJP seems to have crumpled in two more states ahead of the national election. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have extended their alliance to Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, taking their non-Congress grouping to more places in the country.
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will contest 26 seats in 29-seat Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress took power in December with its help, and the Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav will contest the remaining three, Balaghat, Thikri and Khajuraho. In Uttarakhand, the Samajwadi Party will contest one – Pauri Garhwal — and the BSP four.
Last week, the two parties made public their seat sharing deal in Uttar Pradesh, which was also taken as confirmation of a no-entry for the Congress.
Mayawati’s party will contest 38 seats and the Samajwadi Party, 37 seats in the national election just weeks away.
The two parties made a tiny concession for the Congress, which was to not put up candidates in the two seats represented by the Gandhis – Amethi of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Rae Bareli of his mother Sonia Gandhi.
In Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the BJP dominated in the last election in 2014.
The BJP won all five seats in Uttarakhand and all but two in Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress won two, but hopes to significantly improve its score after its state election victory.