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Posted at: Jan 12, 2019, 1:49 PM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 8:50 PM (IST)

Major setback for Congress as SP, BSP declare alliance

Major setback for Congress as SP, BSP declare alliance
Rahul Gandhi. Tribune file

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 12


In a major setback to the Congress’s proposal of a national-level anti-BJP coalition by way of pacts in states, the BSP and SP on Saturday declared their own understanding for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls leaving just two seats for the grand old party.

After announcing an equal share of 38 seats which the SP and BSP will fight in Uttar Pradesh, BSP chief Mayawati said the policies of the BJP and Congress were both rooted in corruption and, therefore, the two parties had decided to contest between themselves.

Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav have left four seats for “smaller parties”, including two for Congress—Rae Bareli which UPA chief Sonia Gandhi represents and Amethi which Congress president Rahul Gandhi holds in LS.

Congress sources said they were ready to go it alone in the state though an official announcement and decision of the issue could take long.

The Congress has been hoping for about 12 to 15 seats in a grand alliance with the SP and BSP but that hasn’t worked out.

The Congress has argued that it should get the Lok Sabha seats where its candidates finished second in the 2014 general election, among some others.

The party was keen on Kanpur, Saharanpur, Allahabad, Kushinagar, Dhaurahra and Agra.

The unilateral declaration of an alliance by the BSP and SP in the state which sends the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha is being seen as a snub to the Congress which, insiders say, may be forced to go it alone now.

The snub came days after MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath failed to accommodate as minister the MLA which the SP loaned to him to reach a majority in the state Assembly after the Congress fell short of some seats.

The BSP was also upset with the Congress for failing to reach an understanding for the MP and Rajasthan polls.

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