Bahujan Samaj Party Supremo Mayawati has yet again given a blow to the Congress-led Mahagatbandhan. BSP Vice-President Ramji Gautam has declared party’s stand to contest all Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In the recent assembly elections of MP also BSP had fought alone after negotiations with Congress on an alliance failed. BSP managed to win 2 seats in the elections and later extended support to Congress party to form the government as it was short of the majority. Mayawati had said that she is extending support only to keep BJP out of power. In Chhatisgarh assembly elections too, BSP had forged an alliance with expelled Congress leader Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC). By partnering with JCC, Mayawati had given an open indication of unwillingness to form an alliance with Congress in future.
In Uttar Pradesh, BSP and Samajwadi Party (SP) are in talks to cobble up an alliance for Lok Sabha elections. However, reports suggest that SP-BSP is mutually trying to keep Congress at bay. During seat-sharing, it came to fore that Congress has been given only two seats, Rae Bareli (Sonia Gandhi bastion) and Amethi (Rahul Gandhi’s bastion), to fight from the alliance.
According to reports, Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal of Haryana, SP and JCC of Ajit Jogi have decided to project Mayawati as PM candidate in 2019. Along with these developments, Mayawati is also in talks with Telangana CM KC Rao, regarding the ‘Third Front’ or the ‘Federal Front’, which will consist neither BJP nor Congress.
The speculations around forming a Federal Front gained momentum after KC Rao’s TRS retained their Telangana throne in recent assembly elections. KC Rao on 24 December held a meeting with Biju Janta Dal (BJD) supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed the probabilities of forming the Front. Later, KC Rao also met with TMC leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee.
Congress and its friendly regional satraps are already expressing scepticism over the formation of the Third Front. Recently, at India Today conclave Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu criticised KC Rao for forming Federal Front and said that it will only help BJP in elections by splitting the votes.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also alleged KC Rao of doing politics of division, by putting efforts to materialise the Third Front and expressed a veiled concern that this front will only help BJP.
Even during the announcement of the extension of support to Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Mayawati had said that previous Congress dispensation has proved detrimental to marginalised sections of the state and she is extending support with a heavy heart.