BSP had also remained absent from a meeting of all Opposition parties called by Chandrababu Naidu on December 10, 2018
While a number of representatives from Opposition parties were seen making a beeline for Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi on February 11, where Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was staging a day-long fast to demand special status for his state, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was conspicuous by its absence.
According to a report in The Economic Times, the BSP chose to stay away from the venue, which had turned into a display of Opposition unity, even after the party was sent an invitation.
The report suggests that while both the parties had shared stage during the Opposition rally earlier in Kolkata, the BSP chose to remain absent at Naidu's fast as it is wary of his closeness towards Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Sources told the newspaper that BSP fears this closeness would bring their respective parties together.
The report also suggests that during Naidu's visit to Mayawati's residence in New Delhi on October 27, the latter had expressed her displeasure regarding the Congress' approach towards an alliance in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The BSP had also remained absent from a meeting of all Opposition parties called by Naidu on December 10, 2018. Mayawati wanted to see the results of assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan before taking any decision regarding an Opposition Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance).
In October, speculation was rife that Naidu and Jana Sena Party (JSP) chief Pawan Kalyan were eyeing an alliance with the BSP for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Kalyan was looking for the BSP to join a rainbow coalition of JSP and Left parties in Andhra Pradesh.
"There could be some communication gap, but there are no issue between us," Naidu told the newspaper, adding that both the parties will come together to discuss the matter in "national interest."
A number of top Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar, National Conference (NC)'s Farooq Abdullah and Samajwadi Party (SP)'s Mulayam Singh Yadav shared stage with Naidu during his protest.According to the report, besides thanking the Opposition leaders who joined his protest and expressed solidarity, Naidu also urged BSP leaders to join the protest rally organised by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on February 13.