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SP and BSP Set for Grand Alliance in 2019, No Room for Congress Though

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party seem to have worked out a formula for an alliance in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, throwing a formidable challenge to the BJP.

Pranshu Mishra | News18.com

Updated:November 29, 2018, 4:27 PM IST
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SP and BSP Set for Grand Alliance in 2019, No Room for Congress Though
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com
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Lucknow: Just days before the results of the Assembly elections to five states, there’s some bad news for both the BJP and the Congress from Uttar Pradesh.

The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party seem to have worked out a formula for an alliance in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, throwing a formidable challenge to the BJP. However, the Congress won’t be a party to this mahagathbandhan.

Speaking to News18, a senior BSP leader, not wishing to be named, said, “Issues have been sorted out. Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati are in regular touch. Alliance is a done deal. Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh will also be a part of this alliance.”

Apart from BSP-SP-RLD, Mayawati and Akhilesh will also keep some room for Om Prakash Rajbhar led Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party. Rajbhar is presently a minister in the Yogi Adityanath cabinet but had constantly been criticising his own government and the BJP.

Apart from Rajbhar, the alliance can also accommodate Krishna Patel faction of Apna Dal. The other faction led by Union Minister Anupriya Patel is likely to remain with the BJP.

The tentative seat distribution is likely to be slightly tilted towards the BSP, which may be contesting around 34-40 seats. Sources say RLD could settle for 3-4 seats. If Rajbhar and the Apna Dal faction joins in, two to three seats can be given to them. The remaining seats will be contested by the Samajwadi party.

Sources said the alliance will not put up candidates in Raebareli and Amethi, seats currently held by the Congress.

SP MLC and party's national spokesperson Sunil Singh Sajan told News 18 that the Congress doesn't fit in the larger political narrative that the SP and BSP wants to build against the BJP. “Our national president Akhilesh Yadav had made his stand clear on the Congress recently in Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

0Sajan was referring to Akhilesh's recent statement..where he had strongly criticised the Congress party for its arrogance and incapability of being able to take along the Non BJP forces.

Clearly Both BSP Chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are upset by what they see as high handed ess of the Congress party in elections of Madhya Pradesh, Chatisgarh and Rajasthan. While Both BSP and SP were keen on getting in alliance with the Congress, the later gave then a cold shoulder.

RLD's Anil Dubey confirmed that the alliance has been finalised. “All major issues have been decided. Minor ones will be ironed out soon in meetings that will commence following the counting of votes in the five states.”

The Congress said it is focused on defeating on the BJP but not dependent on any other outfit. Congress MLC Deepak Singh said, “Congress looks forward to uniting the opposition against the BJP, However we are also not dependent on anyone else when it comes to politics. Party has already done serious homework.”

Sources also said Congress President Rahul Gandhi is aware of the changing scenario in UP and intends to entirely focus his attention on India’s most populous state in the days ahead.
| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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