While talking to the media, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra seems to have given away a ‘carefully guarded secret’ this election season. She seems to have invariably admitted that the Congress and BSP, SP alliance has a tacit understanding on the ground that the political sparring is a mere ploy to fool the voters.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra: BJP will suffer a major setback in UP, they’ll lose badly. In those seats where Congress is strong & our candidates are giving a tough fight, Congress will win. Jahan hamare ummedwar thode halke hain, wahan humne aise ummedwar diye hain jo BJP ka vote kaate pic.twitter.com/2f2BMMQCBs
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 1, 2019
Priyanka Gandhi, talking to media set that BJP will suffer a ‘huge setback’ in Uttar Pradesh and that they will lose badly. She said that in those seats where Congress is strong, Congress will win, and in others where Congress is weak, the candidates have been selected to ensure that they ‘cut votes’ of BJP.
In the 2019 elections, thee are essentially only two national parties that are in the election mix – BJP and Congress. While the BJP has banked its hopes on PM Modi and is attempting to get a majority on its own, Congress is now reducing itself to a mere “vote cutter” playing second fiddle to regional parties. The state of the Congress is such that they have even agreed to play second fiddle to a regional party like BSP that has zero MPs in the parliament.
However, there is a larger implication of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement. In her statement to the media, she admitted that where Congress’ position is weak in Uttar Pradesh, the party has fielded ‘vote-cutters’. Vote cutters would be candidates that would not win but eat into the vote share of BJP thereby helping the BSP or SP candidate from that constituency.
The implication of this statement is massive. For the past few months, Congress and the SP, BSP alliance has been pretending to indulge in political sparring. Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati have made several statements against Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party trying to convince the country that Congress and the regional alliance is fighting against each other.
However, with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement, it becomes evident that the public sparring was only for show and that Congress, BSP and SP do indeed have a tacit understanding to defeat BJP.
In December 2018 itself, OpIndia had theorised that the Congress, SP and BSP are indulging in shadow boxing to ensure a divide in the upper caste votes to defeat BJP.
In our 2018 report, we had written:
“For the BSP, the core vote bank is the Dalit faction. For SP the core vote banks are the Yadavs and Muslims. An alliance with Congress whose President, Rahul Gandhi has been sporting a janeu lately could have proven to be electorally catastrophic. The shadow boxing would perhaps serve several purposes. The BSP could consolidate their Dalit votes while SP could consolidate Muslim and Yadav votes. In the meantime, Congress, with its pseudo temple hopping could attempt to pander to the upper caste votes thereby splitting the BJP’s vote share”.
This is exactly what Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s statement confirms. The shadow boxing between Congress and SP, BSP was merely a front to cutting BJP votes since none of them truly believe that either they could sweep the state independently, or come together despite being ideologically disparate and still convince voters of their ingenuity.