Mayawati leading Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has asked Congress to accept a package deal for alliance in all election-bound states that is Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
This demand has put AICC in the situation of dilemma.
Amid hectic negotiations over alliance for this year elections in the three states, Congress sources said BSP was keen that it be made a partner in all three states.
Now the decision remains that of Congress to determine which state it needs to tie up with Mayawati for Dalit votes. As it has been cleared for a Congress-BSP pact in all or none of the poll-bound states, Congress member said it requires careful handling of this matter given that the party’s Rajasthan unit is not keen on a tie-up with BSP but in MP and Chhattisgarh they are.
Congress units in MP and Chhattisgarh acknowledge that consolidation of Dalit votes would help them tide over the vote difference that has enabled BJP to stay in power in the two states for 15 uninterrupted years.
In contrast, Rajasthan has been a Congress hunting ground where it has alternated in power with BJP in every election. The state unit is confident that 2018 is its turn to return to power.
Congress won’t allow BSP’s demand for seats in Rajasthan to come in the way for a partnership with it in MP and Chhattisgarh. Sources said Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot has not refused a tie-up with BSP but only underlined the political realities of the state. “If the central leadership feels a pact is required in the larger interest of the party, then it can go ahead in Rajasthan too,” a senior Congress leader said.
According to sources, at a stock-taking meeting of the three poll-bound states last week, the issue of alliance was discussed. It is believed that Congress, in the event it heeds BSP’s insistence on a “package deal”, should spare fewer seats for the latter in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh than in MP.
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