If senior Congress leaders are to be believed, talks are on in between Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for a mahagathbandhan in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The final decision on this will be taken by the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ajit Singh of the RLD and Rahul Gandhi Vice President of the Congress.
The alliance talks are said to be in the final stages and the deal is being finalized in Delhi by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar as you read this article. Leaders of all three parties had set aside their differences and come together to fight this election as one. They seem to have realized the threat posed by Narendra Modi’s BJP.
It is said that SP will be fighting from 300 seats, the Congress from 78 seats and the RLD from 22 seats. The Congress got the lion’s share as they won 28 seats in 2012 as compared to nine seats the RLD won. Congress may even get to appoint its own Deputy Chief Minister. Many people believe that Rahul Gandhi may insist on fighting from 100 seats. Another road block is a set of 15 seats that all the parties want to fight from. These are said to be prestigious seats for each party.
The talks for the Mahagathbandhan had been going on in Delhi since the last 15 days. Many believe that if the alliance does not go through before the elections, it may become a straight fight between the BJP and the BSP. The SP also risks losing a significant chunk of the Muslim votes, who may desert the party for the BSP as they are known to vote for the alliance that seems to look stronger on paper.
This alliance surely seems to look like a very strong alliance and will make it a tough three cornered fight in 2017. It seems that master political strategist Prashant Kishor’s plan of having another Mahagathbandhan in UP to defeat the BJP might just succeed.