Cong-SP alliance sets eyes on 2019 polls

Cong-SP alliance sets eyes on 2019 polls

The alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress in the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) may be a precursor to a bigger battle in two years’ time.

The alliance, if it bears fruit for both the parties in the Assembly polls, could then be extended to the Parliamentary elections of 2019.

An indication to this effect was given by SP vice-president Kironmoy Nanda here on Thursday. “Our objective is to capture Delhi (the Centre) in 2019”, he said.

UP sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had won a whopping 73 seats from UP in alliance with the Apna Dal, which had bagged two seats. The Congress and the SP were reduced to fringe players. While the SP managed to win five seats, the Congress could bag only Raebareli and Amethi. The BSP and RLD drew a blank.

According to leaders in the Congress and the SP, the alliance should keep in mind the bigger battle in 2019. “A little sacrifice this time should not matter much. The important thing is to develop a mutual trust between the two parties,” said a senior state Congress leader here.

They said the results of the Assembly polls will be a pointer to the fate of the alliance two years from now. “We are certain that the alliance will get the support of the people in UP. It will be a test of our combined strength”, the leader added.

Leaders from the Congress and the SP said that only a strong alliance can stop the BJP in the next general elections. They expressed hope that other like-minded smaller outfits would be inclined to join the alliance if it succeeds in the  2017 elections.

BJP leaders, however, made light of these plans. “It is an opportunistic alliance and will not last long. We will win the elections irrespective of any alliance”, said a state BJP leader.

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