As the reports of the Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) alliance talks faltering appeared in media, the two parties are making last ditch attempts to save the proposed alliance. This is important for both the parties as both are doomed without the alliance in place.
While Samajwadi Party is hoping to defy anti-incumbency factor, the Congress party is looking forward to strengthen its position in the state with the proposed alliance. The two parties are sure that Muslim voters will back them once they have come together. On the other hand, in the absence of an alliance, Muslim voters are expected to support the BSP overwhelmingly.
So the alliance is basically to present a strong picture in front of Muslim voters who make 20 percent of the state population. Without a strong sign, Muslims are going to march into Mayawati’s lap.
In the meantime reports suggest that Congress President Sonia Gandhi has intervened and spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on the phone on the issue of alliance. Congress leaders meanwhile were quite hopeful on the talks, as was reflected in their comments to the media.
The parlays are stuck over some two dozen seats. With the SP refusing to budge from its offer of around 100 seats and the Congress not agreeing to anything below 120, leaders in both camps had thrown up their hands that the prospects of the electoral tie-up were almost over. Congress sources said Sonia’s intervention will surely boost the alliance prospects. “Everything will be clear by tomorrow (Sunday) morning. The Congress might agree on 100-103 seats. Both the parties know they need each other in Uttar Pradesh polls.”
On the other hand talking about the alliance, senior SP leader Naresh Agrawal said: “The alliance is almost over. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister (Akhilesh Yadav) was offering Congress 100 seats but they were not agreeing to anything less than 120 seats.” “We told them we can’t fight in less than 300 seats but the Congress was adamant as if they are a very influential party in the state,” he added. Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary in charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “You’ll get to know everything by tomorow (Sunday) morning.” Congress state President Raj Babbar said during the day: “The talks will go on.”
Meanwhile Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too are reported to be working on “some possibilities”. The Gandhi family scion is said to be furious at the “slight and disrespect” shown to the Congress by the SP leadership. Earlier, the sources said that the Congress Central Election Committee (CEC) had decided to go it alone in the first and second phases of the seven-phase assembly elections in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. Congress would have done even better had it gone with the BSP.