Assembly polls key factor in Congress' coalition plans

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. PTI file photo

The next round of assembly elections in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana turned out to be a key deciding factor for the Congress as hence it has considered suggestions from opposition leaders to accommodate regional outfits in a coalition for the April-May Lok Sabha elections.

Cajoled by senior opposition leaders such as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress did consider having an alliance with Arvind Kejriwal's AAP in Delhi.

However, a section of the Delhi Congress leaders believe that the party was making a comeback in the national capital after its disastrous wipe out in the 2015 assembly elections and these gains will be lost of Congress joined hands with the AAP in the national capital.

Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in the capital early next year and this section of leaders believe that AAP was on a downward spiral which has made it desperate for an alliance with the Congress.

Moreover, Delhi sends only seven members to the Lok Sabha unlike 80 in Uttar Pradesh and Congress managers believe that that party should not sacrifice its future for the three seats it would get in case of an alliance with AAP.

Argument from the other section is that 2019 is a make or mar battle for Congress and its objective to should stop BJP from forming government at the Centre. The reason that Congress being a national party cannot hold to ransom its national prospects.

Secondly, they believe the alliance in Delhi could also send a signal even to its traditional voters, who have shifted to AAP that the party was not a condemned force as Arvind Kejriwal led party portrayed it backed by Anna Hazare movement years back.

In Uttar Pradesh, Congress is eyeing to make a comeback in the state it ruled almost three decades back. Congress President Rahul Gandhi had made it clear to party leaders that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia have been handed over the charge in Uttar Pradesh with an eye on the 2022 assembly elections.

“In any political competition, it is the duty of a political party to further its ideology, its thoughts and its ideas,” Randeep Singh Surjewala, in-charge of AICC Communication Department said here while commenting on the political situation in Uttar Pradesh.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal have forged an alliance edging out the Congress.

Arvind Kejriwal's AAP was also seeking to ally with the Congress in Haryana and Punjab. In Haryana, AAP was also exploring a tie-up with Jananayak Janata Party, a breakaway faction of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

Assembly elections are scheduled in Haryana in October and the Congress has ruled out any tie-up with AAP. Congress leaders from the state feel that even suggesting an alliance with INLD would be outrageous as the two parties were ideological opposites.

 

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