“It’s too late now.”
That’s the general consensus among the rank and file of the two parties that have been engaged in a war of attrition over seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh. And the troops now feel that an alliance, even if hammered out between the Samajwadi Party and Congress, would not filter to the grassroots.
“There is going to be no joint campaigning by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sonia Gandhi and Amar Singh,” was the answer of roadside party workers from Lucknow to Robertganj.
They insisted that all this “alliance business” was limited to averting division of opposition votes by not fielding
candidates against each other on all the 80 seats, not just Rae Bareli, Amethi and Mainpuri.
“It does make any sense for the SP to field candidates against invincible Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. And the same goes for Mulayam,” some said.
Asked about the kabhi haan, kabhi naa situation, the workers said: “We are geared up for our own party. We will go and sit at home if our candidate is not in the fray. After all there are personal loyalties also.”
Many, however, were of the view that the seat-sharing drama may continue till the last date for withdrawals.
Cheesed off by the manner in which the talks were held, a senior Congress worker in Allahabad said: “It was the BSP and the Congress that had entered into an alliance with former PM Narsimha Rao and late BSP leader Kanshi Ram addressing about five rallies in the state together in the 1990’s. Despite that, the workers of the two parties had not come together to campaign for the official nominee. Do you think they will do it now when there is so much of acrimony on display?”
The Congress’s flock feels the SP workers will not work for their candidates.
The general perception is with the coalition cauldron bubbling, SP and Congress are keen not to disturb the applecart altogether. “Both would want to keep their post-poll options open,” another worker in Varanasi said, alluding to the possibility of third front rising.