Even as Congress president Rahul Gandhi and some leaders like Chandrababu Naidu are talking about a strong Opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the next round of general elections, the two major parties from Uttar Pradesh have watered down the efforts.
The Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati have forged an alliance for Uttar Pradesh for the impending Lok Sabha elections. The two parties have come for agreement to fight the Parliament elections together, keeping equal distance to both the Congress and the BJP fronts. This decision of Akhilesh and Mayawati comes as a shocker to the Congress and others. This is certainly a big shock for leaders like Chandrababu Naidu who have been talking about a strong alternative to the BJP.
The Opposition unity started from Karnataka where the anti-BJP leaders have come together to keep BJP away from power. In fact, the Congress made a greatest sacrifice in Karnataka by giving power to the 36-member Janata Dal (Secular) and the sacrifice was to keep BJP away. The unity displayed here by the non-BJP parties had increased the confidence of anti-Modi forces across the country. The leaders displayed similar unity for a couple of months from then.
However, the unity broke with the election notification issued for Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. The SP and the BSP walked out of the Congress and contested the elections on their own. However, they backed the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan after the elections to keep the BJP out of power. This support from the SP and the BSP to the Congress was seen as some positive sign but the hopes were dashed with the SP and BSP declaring that they would contest together and will have no truck with the Congress in the general elections.
It is now to be seen what the Congress would do to keep the opposition united. He had even declared that he would be out of the race for the Prime Minister post to keep the Opposition united. This might change the political scenario in the days to come as the race is being limited with Rahul opting out.