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UP by-polls: Mayawati rubbishes reports of alliance with SP

 Bahajun Samaj Party (BSP) ChiefMayawati on Sunday rubbished reports of having stitched an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) ahead of the Uttar Pradesh by-elections, terming them as "false and baseless."

"I would like to clarify that apart from Karnataka, the BSP has not entered into an alliance with any party in any state, including for contesting by-polls in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, and the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Such rumours are false and baseless, and must not be encouraged," she said.

Furthermore, Mayawati clarified that the BSP's decision to enter into an alliance will be done publically, and not behind closed doors, adding that the media would be the first to know of any such decision, in order to avoid speculative reports.

"If the BSP and SP transfer votes to each other, that does not make for a political alliance. Therefore, the media should avoid such speculations," she added.

However, the BSP Chief stated that they would vote for any candidate from a political party that will be capable of defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"We have not floated any candidate for the Lok Sabha polls or Phulpur and Gorakhpurby-polls. Our party members will exercise their vote to defeat the BJP candidates," she said.

Earlier in the day, reports surfaced of the BSP extending support to the SP for the upcoming by-polls in Phulpur and Gorakhpur constituencies, after BSP in-charge Ghanshyam Chandra Kharwar declared support to Gorakhpur SP candidate Praveen Kumar Nishad and Phulpur SP candidate Nagendra Singh Patel.

However, the SP's Sunil Singh Yadav told ANI that the Mayawati-led party does not contest by-elections, thereby downplaying reports of any alliance.

On a related note, by-polls in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on March 11, and the counting for the same will be conducted on March 14. (ANI)

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