The shaky Grand Alliance: Now SP wants a share of the pie from Congress in other states too

The idea of the Grand Alliance seems to be glooming gradually as the Samajwadi Party (SP) has now come up with a new set of conditions to Congress in order to be a part of alliance ahead of 2019 general elections, reported Hindustan Times.

According to HT, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has plans of spreading its wings across three to four states and has put new conditions on the Congress Party. The senior SP leaders have sought to expand the party in the poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as the upcoming elections could provide them with an opening for the upcoming general elections.

Reportedly, SP is pushing Congress for this pact ahead of state elections in exchange for a pact in UP, where it has already tie-up with Mayawati’s BSP. “After fighting against each other in these states, an alliance only for UP would look absurd,” said SP general secretary Kiranmay Nanda.

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According to Samajwadi party leaders, their party has a strong foothold in some areas of the poll-bound states and the party should contest along with Congress. “If you (Congress) want unity, it has to be other states too where we want to have a share in the alliance. Unity can’t be a one-way traffic that will happen on in UP at the convenience of the Congress,” said Nanda.

The opposition parties are facing extreme pressure from the BJP and some parties like SP and BSP are fighting for the survival ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The SP-BSP has already formed a tactical alliance and has also demanded Congress for a pan-India pact rather than just in Uttar Pradesh. Both SP and BSP are indeed looking for a fair share of seats in Uttar Pradesh and intend that Congress should play a supporting role, as it is not a serious player in Uttar Pradesh.

Recently, senior leaders from both the parties had met to discuss the modalities of the alliance but reportedly, the talks have not yielded any results, as Samajwadi Party seems to “wary about the caste equations and distribution of seats”. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had put the onus of the formation of a coalition on the Congress and had said that it was the responsibility of the Congress to bring people of similar ideology together.

The idea of the Grand Alliance is unstable, as recently BSP supremo Mayawati had joined hands with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh over the Congress in Chhattisgarh, and had also announced candidates for 22 seats in Madhya Pradesh. As prospects for BSP and SP looks bleak in the upcoming General elections, both the parties are trying out new strategies and seem to be moving away from Congress.

The BJP is playing a waiting game, as there are too many contradictions in the upcoming Grand Alliance. The Congress is being rejected by many regional parties and also being pushed to play a role of a junior party to strong regional parties. The parties like NCP, Trinamool Congress, BJD, DMK, SP, BSP are yet to accept Congress and Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the Opposition parties. The BJP is likely to have a divided opposition and the current trend suggests that BJP will have a sigh of relief ahead of the upcoming state elections.

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