India, Jan. 12 -- The victory of the Samajwadi Party (SP) candidates, backed by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), in Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls in March 2018 proved to be a turning point in Uttar Pradesh politics.

Not only did it stop the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) election juggernaut, but it also set the ball rolling for a long-term alliance between the one-time arch rivals.

Barely 10 days before the elections, BSP president Mayawati sprang a surprise by announcing her party's support to SP candidates for both seats. The BJP tried to play down the impact of the alliance, saying both seats were its strongholds. While SP president Akhilesh Yadav campaigned in both Gorakhpur and Phulpur, BSP leaders chose to stay away.