First fielding candidates against probable ally Congress in recent Assembly polls in three central States and then being conspicuous with their absence at the oath-taking ceremonies of Congress Chief Ministers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, regional satraps Samajwadi Party(SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) have themselves weakened the possibility of a grand alliance for the 2019 general elections.
Interestingly, after not-so-encouraging results in the recent Assembly polls, both the SP and the BSP tried to distance from the BJP and immediately announced support to the Congress.
But by not attending the swearing-in ceremonies of two Congress Chief Ministers on Monday, the two regional parties have probably given a clear message to the grand old party to come on their terms for the grand alliance or else they would remain aloof.
While Mayawati has been silent over not attending the swearing-in ceremonies in the Hindi speaking States, Akhilesh chose to send his lone MLA in Madhya Pradesh to represent him at the function.
“Mayawati has dreams of becoming Prime Minister in case of a hung Parliament in 2019. Hence, instead of joining us to fight with the BJP in the recent Assembly polls, she preferred to align with another party — Janata Congress in Chhattisgarh,” said UP Congress Committee general secretary Siddharth Priya Srivastava.
“Akhilesh also wants Congress to come under his party’s banner in the parliamentary poll akin to what we did in 2017 Assembly poll in UP, as he planned to project Mulayam Singh Yadav
as the prime ministerial candidate. But now, by distancing themselves from the Congress in the Assembly polls in three States, both have a slice of reality to analyse,” Srivastava pointed out.
“In fact, the results of recent elections have upset both SP and BSP more in UP than the BJP as leaders of both parties had targeted Congress freely, hoping that it would be at their mercy in Uttar Pradesh. Even at a recent meeting of opposition leaders over a grand alliance in Delhi, both Mayawati and Akhilesh chose to give it a miss. Hence their absence from the oath-taking ceremonies did not come as a surprise,” the Congress leader said.
Srivastava said that state functionaries and leaders of the party had conveyed to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi that like in the recent Assembly polls in Hindi heartland, the party should distance itself from both SP and BSP, even if they went for an alliance in the parliamentary polls.