Lucknow: With Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) maintaining a silence and Samajwadi Party(SP) saying that it will only spare the Rae Bareli and Amethi seats under the Mahagathbandhan formula during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Uttar Pradesh Congress too has stepped up its preparations to contest all the 80 seats in case no alliance gets underway before the polls.
Congress, earlier mulling to form a grand alliance of major parties to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 general elections, seems to be heading for alone electoral battle in the state.
While party leaders were not interested in joining hands with Samajwadi Party, their plan of alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) seems to have run into bad weather as Ms Mayawati is planning to contest maximum seats to project her case as a Prime Ministerial contender in case of a hung Parliament.
"After committing the blunder of aligning with the SP during the last Assembly elections in UP when the party got the minimum seats, we are now not interested in repeating the mistake," asserted a senior Congress leader.
The leader said that the Congress was not going against the SP as they did not want to project as if they were against Opposition unity as it might might create a negative picture across the country.
"The party is serious on an alliance with parties like Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar, All India Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, NCP in Maharastra etc and talks are underway in this regard. But in UP, we are finding it difficult on this score," the leader quipped.
He revealed that after deciding not to have any truck with the SP, party leaders tried to reach out to BSP for an understanding, since the latter had some influence on voters in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan too.
"But chances in this regard now look bleak as Ms Mayawati is said to be demanding around 100 odd seats in Parliament elections across the country which is not possible. If Mayawati does not slash her demand to half, the Congress would prefer to go it alone or take on board, regional outfits with influence," the leader revealed.
Interestingly, the BJP is also toeing the similar formula of having a truck with smaller parties as they wanted to get a major share of seats from Uttar Pradesh which has a maximum of 80 Lok Sabha seats. (UNI)