Yet another bad news for the Congress party, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has said that the united opposition in the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, will not be able to accomodate more than two seats to the Congress party in the Gandhi borough of Raebareli and Amethi. Speculation about this news was already there but now it is official. It is a huge embarrassment for the grand old party that they have been reduced to such a low. This political untouchability might not go down well with the grand old party which emerged with a huge number of seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2009, it won 21 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2009 General elections. In 2014 General elections Congress won two seats, whereas BSP had no presence, it got zero seats. Despite this SP-BSP coalition is going to contest on 75 seats and the remaining seats have been left for the other coalition partners. Possibilities of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) getting two-three seats cannot be ignored as well. It is clear that SP is giving more importance to BSP as they are aware of the ground realities. They are also quite sure that the Congress has become irrelevant in Uttar Pradesh. Infact in Phulpur and Gorakhpur bypolls, the INC received less than 20,000 votes.
According to current trends, it would be no exaggeration to say that in order to stop the BJP from coming back to power, the Congress party might have to swallow its pride again just like it did in Karnataka. This will give precedence to other anti-BJP regional parties, who might employ the same strategy. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Telangana CM KCR already pitched for a strong federal front comprising of regional parties only, which would be both anti-BJP and anti-Congress.
Yesterday, the BSP rejected any possibility of alliance with the INC for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections this year. The ego issues and self interests of each and every party are coming in the way of the opposition unity. The INC refused to form an alliance with the BSP in Rajasthan, which goes on to show their dedication towards opposition unity. It’s just a glimpse of the selfish nature of the INC, they wanted BSP only where it could be beneficial. This might have been one of the reasons why BSP is not willing to form an alliance with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh.
In Maharashtra also, Sharad Pawar is taking proactive approach in a united opposition against the BJP. He said, “All political parties, including regional forces, should unite against the BJP in the next elections. In recently held Palghar by-polls, if we add the votes polled by Shiv Sena, INC and Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi, it is clearly more than the votes polled by the BJP. Across the country, BJP had faced defeat in nine parliament seats because of the unity of all like-minded parties”. The Congress is cautious of Sharad Pawar, and they don’t want Sharad Pawar to play such a proactive role. President of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), Ashok Chavan said, “We are ready for alliance only with like-minded secular parties. The Congress will not have any alliance with Shiv Sena and MNS.”
One of the reasons why regional parties are having so much difference with the Congress is because the Congress is fighting to stop the BJP from coming to power whereas regional parties are fighting for their existence. The Congress has its cadre across the country and it would bounce back surely in the near future if it wants to. However, for the regional parties, it’s a do or die situation. If things keep on going like the way it is now then it would lead towards a three-cornered fight in the 2019 general elections with NDA, Congress and the united opposition.