New Delhi/ Lucknow: The Euphoria surrounding the Samajwadi Party and the Congress besides other small parties’ alliance before UP election 2017 is on wane merely weeks before the state is set to hold election. The first issue that the so-called Bihar like Mahagathbandan faced was from Western UP strongman Ajit Singh’s reluctance to accept 20 or so seat.
There is no denying that Ajit Singh is a tough nut to crack. He is a mystery for many people including Mulayam Singh Yadav who has played his cards very close to his heart in his political career spanning more than forty years. Nonetheless many people thought that Ajit Singh, who may be thrown into political oblivion if doesn’t accept the Congress/ Samajwadi Party offer, will come around and join to rejuvenate his slowly dying party.
In the meantime the differences in the so-called alliance seem to be growing faster than anyone could have imagined. Many thought that with Akhilesh Yadav in saddle, there would be no problem in the so called alliance. Nonetheless it doesn’t seem to be true.
The SP announced a list of close to 200 candidates for the assembly elections and at least nine of these seats had Congress sitting MLAs. This infuriated the Congress party that called it “unfortunate”.
Congress party spokesman Ajay Maken said “I will be able to talk about the SP alliance once Ghulam Nabi meets Akhilesh Yadav”…We have said that this alliance was concluded earlier with Akhilesh Yadav. Now we will call him again. It’s unfortunate that seats of nine sitting MLA s are being taken away… any agreement should be honoured.”
In the meantime, showing a bigger role for Priyanka Gandhi in politics, Rahul Gandhi, Congress Vice President met his sister Priyanka at his home. She has been coordinating with other parties on the issue of proposed alliance and has been in direct contact with Akhilesh Yadav and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leadership. To be true, she has been credited to have convinced Akhilesh for the proposed alliance.
There is no denying that Congress has been shaken beyond belief with the Akhilesh list having as many as 9 seats that have Congress MLAs. Naturally, the Congress would like to retain those constituencies among the share that it would get as part of an alliance. But Akhilesh Yadav, who is seeking re-election as Chief Minister, is, according to sources, putting the squeeze on the Congress, which, without his partnership, stands far removed from the contest for the key state of Uttar Pradesh, with a stack of electoral defeats both in the last state election in 2012 and the general election two years later.
While Congress wants to strengthen its position in UP, Samajwadi party is looking forward to come back to power with Congress support. An NDTV report says, “The last 48 hours have proved rough for what was being billed as the Grand Alliance or Maha Gathbandhan of Uttar Pradesh, a grouping of non-BJP parties modelled on the coalition that won Bihar in 2015. Ajit Singh and his Rashtriya Lok Dal or RLD, a party with a strong grip on the Jats, especially in Western Uttar Pradesh (which votes ahead of other parts), have decided against teaming with the Congress and Akhilesh Yadav, again because of smaller share of seats than desired”.