Keen on alliance with SP, Congress keeps close watch on Yadav family feud
According to the internal evaluation, the Congress does not stand to gain much if it goes alone in the coming assembly elections. With Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati ruling out a tie-up with any party, the SP was the obvious choice for the Congress.india Updated: Jan 03, 2017 00:06 IST
Even as the family feud in the Samajwadi Party (SP) reached the Election Commission on Monday, the Congress is keenly watching the developments in the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh.
Reduced to margins in the country’s politically and electorally important state over the years, the Congress is keen to forge an alliance to stay relevant given that its assessment on the ground as of now is not encouraging.
According to the internal evaluation, the Congress does not stand to gain much if it goes alone in the coming assembly elections. With Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati ruling out a tie-up with any party, the SP was the obvious choice for the Congress.
The back-channel talks between the Congress and the SP had hit a roadblock over seat sharing. While the Congress had been demanding around 100-120 seats, the SP was willing to concede only about 60.
But that was some weeks ago. With the SP on the brink of a split, the Congress now hopes to strike a good bargain.
And for a pre-poll alliance, the Congress will prefer CM Akhilesh Yadav to Mulayam Singh Yadav. It is no secret that the Congress is wary of Mulayam’s “wavering” moves. The other factor is the apparent bonhomie between Akhilesh and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The two are said to share a good rapport and both have often praised each other on different occasions.
For his part, Akhilesh has maintained that an alliance with the Congress would enable the combination to win over 300 of the total of 403 seats.
Both the sides are of the considered view that a pact could consolidate the Muslim-Yadav vote bank and keep both the BSP and BJP at bay. A section of upper castes — wooed by the Congress with its Brahmin CM pick — might also be swayed by the alliance.