As 2019 General elections inches closer and Congress is trying hard to forge a Mahagatbandhan (grand alliance) with regional satraps to counter BJP, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have delivered a huge setback in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest number of Lok Sabha constituencies.
According to reports, SP and BSP are engaged in negotiations to cobble up an alliance, along with other parties of Uttar Pradesh, to repeat Gorakhpur-Phupur by-poll results and defeat BJP in elections. BSP and SP are ready to share seats with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal but are in two minds about sharing seats with Congress.
“The SP-BSP alliance is the main force which will take on the BJP. The Congress might be there in one or two seats, it is for the Congress to decide what position it wishes to see itself in,” SP’s vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda was quoted by reports.
BSP-SP, reportedly, will contest in 37 seats each out of total 80 seats in the state, and RLD, NISHAD along with others will contest in 4 seats. The remaining two seats are of Rae Bareli and Amethi, represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at present, which the alliance will leave uncontested for Congress.
SP Vice President Nanda said that Congress is not willing to share seats with regional parties, where it is strong, but wants large share where regional forces are at the helm. SP-BSP is likely to announce the seat-sharing on 15 Jan, on the occasion of BSP supremo’s birthday.
Not only in Uttar Pradesh but in Madhya Pradesh too, BSP has kept Congress at bay. The party is planning to contest all Lok Sabha seats of MP on its own without allying with Congress. In Karnataka too Deve Gowda’s JD(S) is also preparing to go in polls without Congress. JD(S), which is in alliance with Congress in the state government of Karnataka, asserted that the party’s local leadership is unhappy with the attitude of Congress. The party cited meeting of workers with Deve Gowda in districts and complaints about Congress’ ‘Big Brother’ attitude, undertaken by the national party after victory in three assembly elections.
Troubles for the Mahagatbandhan is not limited to this alone. KC Rao, CM of Telangana, has also given Congress party reason to worry. Since the recent win in assembly elections, KC Rao has embarked on countrywide visits to regional forces’ head in order to cobble up a Third Front or The Federal Front, which will be free of both BJP and Congress. Andhra Pradesh CM Naidu has already expressed his scepticism over the alliance, while Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said that the alliance will only help BJP in elections.
In the 2014 general elections, BJP had grabbed 71 seats in UP, which is considered unprecedented. BSP had scored zero, and SP had only managed to win from its Yadav bastions.