SP, BSP set to clinch UP alliance for LS polls… keen to include Congress & RLD
New Delhi: It seems that the results of the Assembly elections in three key states have given a new lease of life to the yet to be formed "grand alliance" comprising of Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress in Uttar Pradesh as both the regional parties have started chalking out a 'workable' seat-sharing strategy for the coming Lok Sabha elections in 2019. The state has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
According to party insiders, both SP and BSP are ready to seal a pre-poll understanding with a maximum number of seats in their kitty. But they also don't want to completely 'ignore' the performance of the Congress in the Hindi heartland.
According to party insiders, the SP and BSP have been in talks for seat sharing for almost a year and have 'finalised' their formula. "Both the parties would contest elections in equal seats while the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which has a base in western UP, would also be a part of the yet to be formed 'grand alliance'," the sources said, adding that the official announcement about the seat sharing is likely to be made on the birthday of BSP chief Mayawati on January 15, 2019.
The talks about the finalisation of seat sharing gathered steam soon after Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati skipped the oath-taking ceremonies of the three Congress chief ministers despite the fact that both the parties have extended their support to the Congress-led government in Madhya Pradesh. It is worth mentioning that while announcing her support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Mayawati had said that "despite ideological differences, we have extended support just to keep the BJP out from the state".
Commenting on the issue, a senior SP leader said, "The pre-poll alliance between the SP and BSP is imminent and we are working on a formula to accommodate the Congress as well to give a final shape to the Grand Alliance in Uttar Pradesh to dethrone the BJP from the state. In the present scenario, giving just two seats to the Congress would not be a practical formula. So senior leaders of the three parties are brainstorming over the issue to find out a workable strategy."