New Delhi: The Congress-led proposed ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) continues to face a steeplechase from Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after the party announced on Tuesday that will contest on all 29 Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, news agency ANI quoted top sources in the party saying that the party is still analysing and talks on seat sharing with the Samajwadi Party (SP) are yet to take the final shape.
Sources further said that Mayawati is yet to take final call on alliance in Uttar Pradesh as party is observing political developments and is in ‘wait-and-watch’ mode.
It has been widely reported that the SP and BSP have decided to go hand-in-hand in the state for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. However, there has been no official word from the BSP yet.
Mayawati had openly expressed her reservation with the Congress which is playing a key role in stitching an anti-BJP front, touted as the mahagathbandhan, to take on the NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier, ruling out an alliance with the Congress in the recently-concluded elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Mayawati had alleged that some Congress leaders were against a tie-up despite Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s ‘honest’ intentions.
However, Mayawati later extended its support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh after the declaration of the Assembly election results, saying its aim was to prevent the BJP from coming to power.
If the BJP would have somehow wrested power in MP, it would have severely dented the BSP and the SP’s anti-BJP credentials, a risk that these parties can ill-afford ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
But in the recent swearing-in ceremonies of three Congress chief ministers in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav did not turn for the event raising speculation that all was not well in the grand alliance.
Meanwhile, in what is seen as a counter to the proposed grand alliance, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is making renewed efforts to reach out to regional parties to float a consortium of regional outfits, sans the Congress and the BJP.
KCR met with Mamata Banerjee and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik recently and is now expected to meet Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav.
The BSP has won two seats and 3 per cent votes in Chhattisgarh, two seats and 5 per cent votes in Madhya Pradesh and six seats and 4 per cent votes in Rajasthan. The party has doubled its tally from three to six MLAs in Rajasthan and from one to two MLAs in Chhattisgarh. However, it halved its number in Madhya Pradesh and has come down to two from four MLAs.
However, analysts also believe that in Uttar Pradesh a strategic alliance of the SP and the BSP, along with Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Congress, will be strong enough to challenge the BJP in this politically crucial state.