The Samajwadi Party will fight for social justice together with the Bahujan Samaj Party, said SP chief Akhilesh Yadav Monday, hours after BSP supremo Mayawati expressed dissatisfaction over the poll performance of the alliance between the two parties.
"We and Bahujan Samaj Party will fight for social justice together," said Yadav, addressing a public meeting here during his first visit to the constituency after declaration of the Lok Sabha poll results.
BSP chief Mayawati earlier told her party workers in New Delhi that the Lok Sabha poll drubbing in Uttar Pradesh was due to the "poor performance" of the alliance with the SP. She also asked her party leaders and workers to prepare to contest the assembly by-elections on their own, raising questions over the future of the 'gathbandhan'.
Addressing the public meeting in Azamgarh, Akhilesh Yadav, however, defended the poll performance of the alliance, saying that the Lok Sabha poll battle this time was of a different kind, which he could not understand. "It was a race between Ferrari and a cycle (the SP's election symbol). Everybody knew the Ferrari will win. The Lok Sabha elections were not fought on issues, it was fought on something else," said Yadav.
The SP chief also subtly blamed media for his party poor performance in the polls. "Tell me who was seen on televisions everyday? They penetrated into our brains. They played with our minds with TV and mobile phones. This was a different kind of battle, which we could not understand. The day we understand this, we will emerge victorious," he said.
Conceding that his party's "opponents are very strong", the former UP chief minister said he would try to counter them through social alliance. "Our party may have lost the elections, but we throw an open challenge to rival parties that they compare the developmental works done during their regime with those done in our tenure. Their work will not be able to stand in front of ours," he said.
Before Akhilesh Yadav's public meeting in Azamgarh, an SP spokesperson said the party was "waiting" for the BSP's "official stand" on whether to continue with the alliance or not.
The Samajwadi Party's statement followed Mayawati's direction to her party leaders to prepare to contest the coming assembly bypolls on their own.
"No one has got the official stand of the BSP regarding the alliance. We are waiting for an official statement," SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI earlier.
Earlier, in her party workers' meet, Mayawati had asked her party leaders not to depend on the alliance to win votes but work to expand the organisation.
According to some of those present in the meeting, Mayawati also referred to the family feud in the Yadav clan, saying the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP could not transfer the community votes to the BSP in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls. She said the SP could not even save its "family seats".
"These are all hearsay. What was the matter of discussion has to be understood," the SP spokesperson said.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav will take a decision on the developments once he comes to Lucknow from his parliamentary constituency Azamgarh, Chaudhary said.