New Delhi: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has made it clear that his party is ready to sacrifice few seats to defeat the BJP in 2019 general elections and form a grand alliance.
Addressing a rally on Sunday, Akhilesh said, “We are committed to the alliance with the BSP and will continue working with them, even if we have to sacrifice 2-4 seats, we are not going to stop. We will bring the BJP down.”
Joint opposition candidates had emerged victorious in the recent Lok Sabha by-elections in Kairana, Gorakhpur and Phulpur. However, there have been questions about the sustainability of the ‘grand alliance’.
BJP president Amit Shah had made light of the proposed alliance of opposition parties, saying they all fought his party in 2014 general elections as well and will do so in 2019, but it will still come back to power with a bigger majority.
Akhilesh said the main motive is to defeat the BJP and parties will form an alliance to achieve that. “They're wondering how we will stay in this alliance, but we will work together and together we will defeat them,” he added.
The SP chief had earlier suggested that a joint candidate must be put against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi in 2019. The Congress, however, remained non-committal to the idea and said it is "too early" and it was up to political parties to decide.
The Congress had said it would work out different strategies with parties in states to ensure that there is no division of anti-BJP votes in the general elections.
"The object will be everywhere, whether bipolar states or triangular and quadrangular states, to prevent vote division of the anti-BJP vote. This is what the BJP is terrified about," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
“There is no 'one-size-fits-all-approach'. There is no blanket approach at all. The basic object remains the same whether it is this part or that part of the country and it is whether you call it formal alliance or you call it 'strategic seat adjustments' or you call it 'understandings'," he said on the issue of working out strategies with regional and other opposition parties.
Singhvi said various elections - from Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka - show how the BJP benefits from vote division and the Congress intends to counter it.