Priyanka factor: Will SP-BSP alliance rework seat-sharing strategy?

'It was well reflected in victories over BJP in back-to-back UP bypolls where Congress was fighting on its own,' says a senior SP leader denying the impact of Priyanka factor over elections.

Published: 25th January 2019 07:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2019 07:05 PM   |  A+A-

Priyanka Gandhi. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: With the entry of Priyanka Gandhi into active politics and Uttar Pradesh being in focus, the existing political players allying against the ruling BJP may now find it difficult to ignore the Congress factor in upcoming Lok Sabha elections, what if, they find it equally difficult to accept it. 

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on a humble note in Amethi on Wednesday, had invited the major regional forces in UP-SP and BSP –to have an understanding with his party and had even promised all cooperation in achieving common goal of ensuring BJP’s ouster, the regional satraps have maintained so far that the alliance is already a force to reckon with in UP and is capable enough to defeat the BJP. 

“It was well reflected in victories over BJP in back-to-back UP bypolls where Congress was fighting on its own,” says a senior SP leader denying the impact of Priyanka factor over elections.

However, informed sources also claim that after Congress’s idea of an "understanding," could be a possibility on a select 12-15 seats where SP-BSP alliance and Congress could have a conflict of strength.

This apart from Amethi and Rae Bareli, where SP-BSP have already declared not to field a candidate against the Congress party. Till the announcement of Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment, party’s state in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad had given ample indications of a quid pro quo wherein Congress could have avoided fielding a strong candidate on strongholds of SP and BSP leaders like they had left Amethi and Rae Bareli while sewing their alliance.

Now with Congress's aggressive posturing can lead to rethinking by alliance leaders on at least 15 seats where Congress has a strong presence. These 15 seats are among those around 28 constituencies which have been zeroed down by the Congress to go whole hog anticipating an improvement in its tally. From Saharanpur and Ghaziabad in the west to Kushi Nagar and Mirzapur in the east, the 15 seats are such where Congress had got above one lakh votes and analysis shows that a divided opposition can be a clear edge to the BJP.

Moreover, other crucial constituencies are Lucknow, Kanpur, Unnao, Pratapgarh, Barabanki, Faizabad, Gonda, Kheri, Dhaurara, Farrukhabad, Akbarpur. An analysis of 2104 results of these seats shows that wherever Congress has managed to get near or over lakh votes, division in secular votes is helping the BJP clearly.

These seats are Congress's stronghold either because of the presence of a big leader or due to a respectable Congress vote because of urban seat factor. Here actually, the conflict of strength between the Congress and SP-BSP alliance may come into play and division of secular vote may benefit the BJP. However, the SP and BSP leadership doesn’t accept this truth on the surface of it but internal revaluations must be on in alliance camp.

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