New Delhi: In a major setback to the Congress’ attempts of forging the ‘grand alliance’ to oust the BJP government at the Centre, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Wednesday announced that her party will fight the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Assembly elections on her own. She, however, kept mum about the possibilities of coalition with other parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Launching a scathing attack at the Congress, Mayawati questioned that the Grand Old Party’s intentions of defeating the BJP. She also slammed Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for his claim that the BSP is abstaining for entering the grand alliance because she is under pressure from the Centre.
“Congress leaders like Digvijaya Singh do not wish for a Congress-BSP alliance. They are afraid of agencies like ED, CBI,” said Mayawati.
“Digvijaya Singh who is also a BJP agent is giving statements that Mayawati ji has a lot of pressure from Centre so she doesn’t want this alliance. This is baseless,” she added.
However, she said that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s intentions for Congress-BSP alliance are honest, but some Congress leaders are sabotaging their efforts for alliance.
Mayawati not launching a direct attack on the Congress president and the UPA chairperson leaves Congress in hopes that negotiations with the BSP over forging alliance may still be possible.
Responding to Mayawati’s stringent attack, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “At times,out of emotions, sweet and bitter things are said. But at last, if Mayawati ji holds absolute trust in Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi then other creases can be ironed out”.
Responding to Mayawati’s allegations, Digvijaya Singh said that he has always respected the BSP chief and has been “one of the bitterest critics” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, the saffron party and the RSS.
“Please ask her, as far as I am concerned, I had been one of the bitterest critics of Modi ji, Amit Shah ji, BJP and RSS. Rahul Gandhi is our Congress chief, we follow his directions,” said Digvijaya Singh.
“I’ve already made it clear that I respect Mayawati ji and have been in favour of Congress-BSP alliance from beginning. In Chhattisgarh, there were talks for alliance but she didn’t go for it. In MP too there were talks of alliance, she declared 22 candidates,” he added.
Speaking on the development, Union Law Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that coalition is “not in Congress’ DNA”. “What relations Congress has with others is their matter but all I can is say that coalition is not in the DNA of Congress.The only thing in their DNA is family,” he said.
Clearly stating that no alliance is possible with the Congress for the upcoming Assembly elections in MP and Rajasthan, Mayawati said that her party will either ally with regional parties or fight alone, but not with Congress in the two poll-bound states.
“In Karnataka we tied up with regional party. In Chhattisgarh too, we did the same. Now we have decided to go alone in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. We may go with regional parties there but certainly not with the Congress,” she read out a statement.
Alleging that the Congress is trying to finish off her party, Mayawati said that the “arrogant” Congress is in “misconception” that it can defeat the BJP on its own but people have not forgotten the its maistakes and corruption.
“They (Congress) are getting arrogant & are under misconception that they can defeat BJP on their own but the ground reality is that people haven’t forgiven Congress party for their mistakes and corruption. They don’t seem to be ready to rectify themselves,” she said.
Earlier, in another setback to the Congress, Mayawati had announced BSP’s alliance with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (JCC). Announcing the alliance, Mayawati said that Ajit Jogi will become the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh if party comes to power.
She had also released a list of 22 candidates in Morena and Shivpuri — a region which is considered a stronghold of Congress’ campaign manager Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Last month, responding to reports of alliance talks with the Congress for the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati had said that her party will only agree to join hands with a party if they get a “respectable share of seats”.
It was reported that the BSP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) – who joined hands for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections – will contest 30 out of the 80 seats each in Uttar Pradesh while the Congress will field its candidates on 10 Lok Sabha seats. The remaining 10 is likely to be distributed among smaller parties like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).