‘Now, there is speculation that the Congress may drop a few names from its candidates’ list and feature SP names’.
After the spat between Samajwadi Party chief and Uttar Pradesh former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress’ Madhya Pradesh (MP) former Chief Minister Kamal Nath over seat sharing in MP (which could not be finalised), AICC president Malikarjun Kharge has talked to Akhilesh Yadav to try and resolve the tussle between the two parties. After the conversation between Akhilesh Yadav and Kharge, there is speculation that the Congress may drop a few names from its already existing candidates’ list and feature SP candidates. However, the information could not be verified. A senior SP leader close to the leadership said, “First, Akhilesh and Congress Madhya Pradesh in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala were supposed to talk, but later Akhilesh Yadav wanted to talk directly with Kamal Nath. We had tried to negotiate for around 8 seats, but Nath informed us that he would give us 6 seats in an alliance. Later, Akhilesh had agreed and suggested Nath to release SP candidates in the Congress list so that it sends a signal of unity. Yet, he decided to name candidates on those seats. That was the reason of Akhilesh’s outburst.” After the disagreement over alliance, Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath told media, “We tried (to make an alliance), it was not about seats, the question was about which seats. The seats for which our people said that the Bharatiya Janata Party would be benefited, there it could not happen.”
Moreover, a person privy to the developments indicated that the inner circle of Akhilesh Yadav had advised him to directly talk to the central leadership of Congress in case of any tussle in future so that the alliance is not at risk. A person close to Akhilesh Yadav said, “The people who have advisory role are also working on it to have a healthy relationship between the Yadav and Congress’ central leadership, including Rahul Gandhi. We have not targeted the central leadership and will not. Both the parties want to have an alliance in UP and such an approach will help us strengthen the ground against the BJP which we all are fighting against.”
A section in Samajwadi Party is wary that a team led by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been against the alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
However, a political analyst in the state said, “SP leaders fail to understand that their party is the single most dominant Opposition party in the state; if the whole Congress in the state comes together to dislodge SP, they will not be able to do so. They will not be able to shake a party which is more than 100 times bigger than Congress in the state. Such an insecurity would just be diversion for their own selves and is also akin to blame game which occurs only when you are unable to conceive a better strategy and design a better working line. It would be better to stick to the line which the Congress’ central leadership has drawn and accept that reality.”