A day after exit polls predicted a huge win for the BJP-led NDA, including in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav met ‘Gathbandhan’ partner Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati in Lucknow, even as the BSP supremo declined to meet Congress leaders in the national capital.
The BSP said that Mayawati would not be coming to Delhi on Monday for any meetings with opposition leaders, contradicting reports that she would be meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi, in an effort to consolidate an anti-NDA bloc.
"Mayawati ji has no programme or meetings scheduled in Delhi today, she will be in Lucknow," Mayawati's top aide Satish Chandra Mishra told news agency ANI on Monday.
On Sunday, exit polls predicted that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would return to power at the Centre with a clear majority and even in UP it would get more votes than the BSP-SP alliance.
Mayawati met with alliance partner Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. Yadav refused to comment on the exit poll predictions that the ‘Gathbandhan’ or alliance may not get enough votes in UP to halt the BJP’s victory march.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav leaves after meeting BSP Chief Mayawati at her residence in Lucknow. pic.twitter.com/j76Ut5MqBJ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 20, 2019
Earlier, reports had suggested that Mayawati would meet the Gandhis ahead of the national election result on Thursday, May 23. The meeting, according to reports, had been arranged by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who has been trying to cobble up an opposition alliance.
Naidu had met with Mayawati in Lucknow and also met with Rahul Gandhi twice. The Telugu Desam Party leader met with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi on Sunday and is expected to talk to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had on Sunday dismissed the exit polls.
The seven-phased Lok Sabha elections ended on Sunday. The final phase saw 13 seats in UP, including Varanasi, go to the polls.
Most exit polls predicted that the SP-BSP gathbandhan would get around 30 seats in 80-seat Uttar Pradesh.