NEW DELHI: Miffed over being left out in the BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress warned them that the move might prove to be politically dangerous as they may be blamed of dividing the anti-BJP votes ahead of the 2019 national elections.
"The collective aim of the opposition is to defeat the autocratic BJP and the one man rule in the country. The public will blame those who divide the opposition vote towards this goal. The move could be politically dangerous for those who ignore the larger objective," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
The grand old party, which had been trying to sew up a bigger anti-BJP alliance including Congress-BSP-SP-RLD, was miffed that the BSP-SP were leaving only two seats Rae Bareli and Amethi, represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively, for the Congress, which had won 22/80 seats in the 2009 national elections. Refusing to be sidelined, the Congress indicated it was all set to go alone in UP.
"The next Lok Sabha polls will be a fight between BJP's autocracy and Congress' democracy," senior party leader Manish Tewari said. Party sources said they had been suspecting of the BSP and SP role after they had missed a recent Opposition meet during the winter session of parliament but alleged that the BJP was misusing the central agencies to hound the two UP giants.
"It is easy to understand why Akhilesh Yadav's name is suddenly being dragged in a five-year-old sand mining scam. The central agencies are being misused to threaten the BJP's rivals. PM started the politics of revenge in the country," said Singhvi.
The other opposition parties which have been a regular at the Opposition get-togethers in the past welcomed the BSP-SP pact. West Bengal chief minister TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tweeted: "I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. It is certain that BJP will be wiped out in UP and Bihar," RJD's Tejaswi Yadav, who discussed the strategy for Lok Sabha polls with party functionaries in Patna, tweeted."The two parties would together defeat the BJP in UP," said Yechury.
Sources said they had anticipated pre-poll alliances in states where the Congress may or may not be involved but argued that the post-poll grouping will actually determine what shape the anti-BJP front takes.
"Insofar as alliances are concerned, we have always believed that state-specific alliances, which further the progressive and pluralistic ideals, which further consolidate the liberalised idea of India, are the way forward and I think there is space for that,-" said Tewari.BoxAICC in charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad who has been overseeing the preparations for a solo show said the party will come out with a detailed response in a presser to be held in Lucknow on Sunday. "Wait for our response on the alliance in Lucknow on Sunday," he said.