LUCKNOW: BSP chief Mayawati's tirade at Congress while announcing that she would alone in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, has come as a major jolt to the opposition unity and the prospects of anti-BJP mahagathhbandhan ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The political observers see it as a trick of the BSP chief to keep Congress away from the political landscape of Uttar Pradesh which, undeniably, plays a very crucial role in the formation of any government at the centre since it sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.
However, Mayawati's current anti-Congress stand can be attributed to a number of factors keeping the UP scenario in mind. She has been continuously harping on being a part of an anti-BJP alliance only if her party gets a respectable number of seats to contest in UP in 2019 or else she is ready to go it alone.
The observers feel that if Congress manages to increase its strength with the support of the BSP and the SP, then its bargaining power will increase.
It will seek a bigger number of seats in the coalition and Mayawati doesn't want that to happen. Even more, the regional parties don't want to let the Congress revive in UP for its revival would be a threat to their vote banks.
While the BSP and the SP, enjoy equal status in UP, the Congress, has been literally reduced to a non-entity here.
Both the regional parties don't want the Congress to be a part of the alliance, realising the fact that the grand old party would find it difficult to play a minor player in UP and the number of seats left for it to contest would go waste.
Moreover, hobnobbing of Congress's Muslim leaders of western UP with recently released Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has also annoyed the BSP chief as she has openly expressed her aversion to have any association with the upcoming Dalit leader by rejecting his overtures.
She feels that the Bhim Army-Congress bonhomie will cement Dalit-Muslim unity and it may shake up the vote base of both the BSP and SP respectively while polarising upper caste in BJP's favour yet again. With alliance talks among SP, BSP and RLD on, highly placed sources say that as per the current understanding, BSP will contest in around 40-44 seats, SP will get 30, RLD three and rest seven will be distributed among fringe players like Nishad Party, Peace Party, etc.