In a stunning revelation even as TV channels were busy discussing the Elections 2017 exit polls, incumbent Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today said he is ready to join hands with arch rival Mayawati to avoid the President's Rule in the state.
"No one wants the President's Rule in the state, so that the BJP runs the government with a remote control," the 43-year-old leader told the BBC, adding that if push comes to shove in the results expected on Saturday, he is not averse to an alliance with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party.
Yadav's announcement of a Plan B came as various exit polls showed the BJP ahead of the SP-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The India Today-Axis My India survey says the BJP may sweep the state with a landslide 251-279 seats, while the SP-Congress combine will be a dismal second with 88-112 seats. Mayawati may win 28-42 seats, the survey says.
If one goes by the India Today survey, both the SP-Congress combine and the BSP lack the numbers by a large margin to reach the magic 202-mark in Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
The India TV-CVoter exit poll predicts a hung Assembly in Uttar Pradesh by giving the BJP 155-167 seats, the Samajwadi-Congress alliance 135-147, and the BSP 81-93 seats. This is perhaps the scenario that Akhilesh has in mind when declaring his willingness to tie up with the BSP.
Yadav's Samajwadi Party has fought the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly election in alliance with the Congress. The Akhilesh Yadav-Rahul Gandhi duo had shown a rare bonhomie in their rallies and roadshows across the state.