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‘Flexible’ Rahul Gandhi Bats For a Grand Alliance in 2019, Hopes BSP Will Join in

Rahul also indicated he was "flexible" in his efforts to rope in BSP for Assembly polls, especially in MP where the Congress has been out of power for 15 years now.

News18.com

Updated:October 5, 2018, 12:58 PM IST
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New Delhi: Despite the recent fall-out ahead of Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is confident of a tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

"I think in national elections, the parties will come together, particularly in Uttar Pradesh," Rahul replied when being asked to comment on allegations that Congress has been reluctant to accommodate regional parties in building alliances.

The Congress chief was speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi.

BSP president Mayawati earlier this week had walked out of talks with the Congress over electoral tie up in Madhya Pradesh accusing former state CM Digvijaya Singh of sabotaging efforts to build a coalition against the BJP.

Rahul also indicated he was "flexible" in his efforts to rope in BSP for Assembly polls, especially in MP where the Congress has been out of power for 15 years now.

"The alliance in the state and the centre is different. Mayawati ji has indicated that. We were pretty flexible. I was more flexible than the state leaders. We were in the midst of a conversation and I guess they decided to go alone," Rahul added.

The Congress chief, however, expressed confidence of winning elections in MP, Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh despite going solo in these states though he admitted an alliance in MP "would have been a good thing for us (Congress)".

Reports have indicated that talks between MP Congress chief Kamal Nath and BSP general secretary Satish Mishra continued till the very last. The BSP in fact had pared down its demand from 50 to 30 seats. But some of the seats which the BSP demanded were in areas where the party was traditionally weak. The Congress' assessment was that concession on such seats would indirectly help the BJP in a direct contest.

Mayawati while calling off the state alliance had, however, left the door ajar for a tie-up in the Lok Sabha polls. She had said that Rahul and Sonia Gandhi have shown far more inclination to accommodate her party than the regional satraps in the Congress.
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