The grand opposition coalition efforts of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for 2019 polls to keep BJP out of power are slowly getting diluted. It was first BSP’s Mayawati who had walked out of the alliance for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Now, it is Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav who bid adieu to Rahul. The SP, like the BSP, will not have truck with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where the elections are scheduled in November-December.
The Akhilesh Yadav-led party ruled out an alliance with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly delaying a deal and failing to show “large-heartedness” in seat-sharing. The Congress, which had tried to play down the BSP’s snub on October 3, said in New Delhi that it had not been planning an alliance with the SP in Madhya Pradesh.
“The Congress has made us wait long enough. The elections are being announced and we cannot wait any longer. We will, however, talk to the BSP about an alliance in Madhya Pradesh,” Akhilesh Yadav told the media.
Though the SP has no MLAs in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and the BSP has four MLAs in MP and three in Rajasthan, their decision to fight the elections without any understanding with the Congress will convert the contest in both the states into a triangular tussle that may benefit the ruling BJP. A united Opposition against the BJP, led by the Congress and complemented by the SP’s appeal to Muslim voters and the BSP’s to dalits, would have given the saffron party nightmares.
During the last Assembly polls in MP, the combined votes polled by both the Congress and the BSP were more than that of the BJP. The BSP has considerable influence in northern Madhya Pradesh and pockets of Scheduled Castes account for 16 per cent of the state’s population, though, over the past few years the dalit vote bank in the state has shifted to the BJP.