Regional parties eye Congress as poll partner

With the Lok Sabha elections just months away, regional parties in several states are looking for new allies, with the Congress on the radar for many of them. 

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is said to be keen on alliances with the party not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in other states. The alliance could be a reality if the BSP gets seats in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana, where it claims a sizeable following.

In the east, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has agreed to the Congress contesting 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state in exchange for allowing it to form the state government.

 Accordingly, JMM chief Shibu Soren’s son Hemant Soren was sworn in as chief minister with support from the Congress.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress is keeping Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrashekhar Rao in good humour as he had assured the party of merging his outfit with it after the formation of Telangana.

In Maharashtra, the ties between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)  are under strain again, with the Sharad Pawar-led regional party threatening to pull out of the 14-year-old Democratic Front government in the state following differences with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

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