Unease in Cong over delay in firming up alliances

Unease in Cong over delay in firming up alliances

Unease is growing in Congress over delay in arriving at alliances in various states is growing.

A section of the party leaders feel that A K Antony led Committee on alliances should have arrived at some broad decision about the issue by October last itself.

Alliances either with SP or BSP in Uttar Pradesh, DMK or AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and a Congress-RJD-LJP alliance would have made a difference of 60 to 70 seats for UPA, a party leader speaking on the condition of anonymity said.

A section in the party was pressing for an alliance with BSP in Uttar Pradesh to stop BJP in its tracks in the Hindi heartland and was contending that it would have had a multiplier effect in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Uttar Pradesh (80), Bihar (40) and Tamil Nadu with Puducherry (39+1) seats accounted for 160 of 543 Parliamentary seats in the country.

Congress general secretary Madhusudan Mistry yesterday announced a tie-up with Ajit Singh's RLD an Mahan Dal in western UP while Congress' alliance with RJD was announced in Patna but not before Paswan's party LJP walked into the BJP.

Announcing his decision for a tie-up with BJP, Paswan had said that he had to take the steo as Congress did not appear serious in sewing up a secular alliance in Bihar.

AIADMK-Left relations recently soured over seat sharing. Her party was warming up to Congress more than a year ago when DMK was still an ally of UPA.

DMK left UPA early last year and yesterday it closed the doors for Congress barring a last-minute U-turn, announcing candidates for the 35 seats it would contest in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Virtually friendless in Tamil Nadu, Congress today said it would be going it alone in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. 

"There is no possibility of any alliance in Tamil Nadu as of now," Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed said yesterday.

The statement came amidst reports that the party's last-minute efforts to stitch together an alliance with DMK was blocked by its senior leader MK Stalin even as the actor- politician Vijaykanth-led DMDK joined hands with BJP.

In the 2009 elections, Congress, then a partner in the DMK-led DPA, had contested 16 seats and won nine while the alliance itself claimed an impressive tally of 28 seats.

DMK was part of the Congress-led UPA since it came to power at the Centre in May, 2004, but last year parted ways with the ruling alliance.

AIADMK is contesting all 39 seats in Tamil Nadu on its own along with the lone constituency in the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry. DMK has firmed up an alliance with IUML, MMK, VCK and Puthiya Tamizhagam.

Alliances have played a major role in the outcome of Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu with the combination led by either of the two main Dravidian parties, AIADMK and DMK, winning a majority of the seats in past elections.

Similarly in Bihar, when Congress RJD and LJP contested 2004 Lok Sabha elections together, they had won 29 of 40 Lok Sabha seats.

In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Congress fought separately and all three parties fared badly with Congress' tally coming from three to two, LJP's tally from four to zero and RJD from 22 to four.This time LJP is out and the BJP has finalised tie up with smaller parties and individual caste leaders there as well, which could make a formidable combination.

More than the number of seats for Congress, it was a major gain for UPA, whose numbers had swelled after seats from Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

Similarly in Andhra Pradesh, where Congress wanted a merger of TRS after creation of Telangana, even an alliance between the two parties is yet to take shape. 

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