The chances of the Samajwadi Party and the Congress coming together and forging an alliance for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly polls is extremely unlikely, say highly placed sources in the Samajwadi Party.
There has been a speculation that the two parties are edging closer to striking a deal with state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav speaking in favour of the alliance, going to the extent of saying that th alliance could win over 300 seats and Rahul Gandhi of the Congress extremely keen to push the tie up, and willing to negotiate even a minimum number of seats.
But the reality, according to insiders is a little different. A long time confidante of Samajwadi Party strongman Mulayam Singh Yadav has told this correspondent, “there is no way that Netaji will allow this alliance to fructify”.
Amar Singh is clear when he says, “do we want to go to jail by having a tie up with the congress?” implying obviously that there is pressure from the Narendra Modi government not to tie up with the congress as the union government has enough agencies at its disposal to push cases against Samajwadi Party leaders.
It is learnt that the idea is to keep the Congress dangling and on a shoe string, content to think that alliance talks are going full speed ahead. This, said a senior leader will help the samajwadi party to keep the muslim voters by its side and allow them to think that a tie up between the two would help them consolidate the muslim vote.
Apart from that the longer the talks go on, and the longer the delay in finalising the deal, the less chances would be there for the congress to approach the BSP and its chief Mayawati. In any case insiders in the congress reveal that Rahul Gandhi does not much care for Mayawati and his advisors, many of whom are dalits are not in favour of any understanding with Mayawati and this is what they have been feeding him. They have all along been telling him the various advantages of staying with the Samajwadi party as it also helps them within the congress party.
A senior leader in the congress said that the entire alliance talk with the samajwadi party has hit the congress badly and demoralized its workers as they feel that in the event of a tie up most of them would not get seats and this has led to the earlier excitement in the congress coming down sharply.
Party leaders admit that after so much talk of an alliance the congress would come-a-cropper if they contested alone. The wind appears to be blowing that way.