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Is SP Willing To Join Congress As A Pillar Against BJP In UP: An Effort Towards 2024 Polls!

The statement made by Akhilesh Yadav, the president of the Samajwadi Party (SP), last week that Opposition parties committed to defeating the ruling BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls should show a “big heart” and support the SP in Uttar Pradesh seemed to indicate that the Samajwadi Party is willing to join hands with the Congress if his party dominates seat-sharing in UP.

The SP had previously said that it will not fight the elections in an alliance with the Congress.

Is SP Willing To Join Congress As A Pillar Against BJP In UP: An Effort Towards 2024 Polls!

The Samajwadi Party had even begun planning to run a candidate in Amethi, one of the few Congress strongholds in UP where it has not run a candidate against the grand old party’s high-profile candidates like Rahul Gandhi in the previous parliamentary elections.

According to sources, the SP has been under pressure from its current ally, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which believes that no anti-BJP coalition can succeed without the Congress. According to Ramashish Rai, the RLD’s UP president, Muslims in UP are looking to the Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. As a result, Congress should lead the opposition in Uttar Pradesh. In western Uttar Pradesh, a coalition of Muslims, Jats, and Gujjars is forming to oppose the BJP.

Rai said that Muslims account for 38-51 per cent of voters and Jats 6-12 per cent of voters in at least 22 Lok Sabha seats in western Uttar Pradesh and that under a “changed scenario,” the Congress may assist the Opposition coalition against the BJP.

The Azad Samaj Party, founded by Chandra Shekhar Azad, has also worked with Dalits and Muslims in western Uttar Pradesh.

An SP leader, on the other hand, stated that the Congress is convinced that if the Opposition’s alliance comes to power, it would have the most MPs from various states and that the Prime Minister shall be from the Congress alone. As a result, the Congress is unwilling to make any concessions in seat-sharing with the SP in Uttar Pradesh, where the two parties’ last coalition collapsed in the 2017 Assembly elections. However, the Congress should keep in mind that it may only win one Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 2019.

Is SP Willing To Join Congress As A Pillar Against BJP In UP: An Effort Towards 2024 Polls!

According to another SP senior, Akhilesh Yadav’s comments may be an attempt to solidify anti-BJP support in the SP’s advantage. If other parties do not join the Opposition’s coalition in UP led by the SP, Yadav will be able to send a message that only the SP intended to beat the BJP.

According to UP Congress spokesman Ashok Singh, the results of UP cannot lead to the establishment of a government at the Centre. The Congress Party is determined to beat the BJP and become the next government under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. Congress is planning to run for all UP seats. Akhilesh Yadav must pick whose philosophy he would support in the Lok Sabha elections. Anyone who wants to see the BJP defeated should vote for the Congress.

Akhilesh has stated that the Opposition parties should unite behind him in a state where he is widely regarded as the most powerful opponent of the BJP.

The SP camp has stated that based on its present Assembly position and previous election outcomes, the party is in the “strongest position” to challenge the BJP in UP, while other major non-BJP parties include the BSP, Congress, and RLD.

The RLD says its cooperation with the SP will continue. However, nothing is guaranteed regarding the future. According to an RLD leader, the SP and RLD candidates competed against one other in numerous seats in western UP in the recent local body elections.

The BSP has previously said that it would not form an alliance with any other party in the 2024 elections. The Mayawati-led party ran in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in UP in coalition with the SP and the RLD, which raised eyebrows in the BJP camp. However, the Samajwadi Party-BSP combination could only win 15 of the state’s total 80 seats, with the BJP once again sweeping the state, paving the path for its return to power at the Centre for the second straight term.

Is SP Willing To Join Congress As A Pillar Against BJP In UP: An Effort Towards 2024 Polls!

Mayawati has been relentless in her attacks on the SP, appealing to the Muslim community to support her party. Akhilesh recently proposed the “PDA” [Picchda (OBCs), Dalits, and Alpsankhyak (minorities)] formula, claiming it might assist the Opposition in beating the BJP-led NDA.

Sudhir Panwar, a senior Samajwadi Party politician, stated that socialist hero Rammanohar Lohia was opposed to “single party rule or double engine government.” Lohia encouraged B R Ambedkar to form an alliance, but it fell through owing to Ambedkar’s untimely death. After 1967, coalition administrations were created in numerous states and at the national level as a result of his efforts, he said.

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kanshi Ram formed an alliance in 1993 and beat the BJP at its height. Akhilesh Yadav has formed partnerships with the Congress, the BSP, and other parties since 2017. In the 2017 Assembly elections, he formed a partnership with the Congress Party, giving them disproportionate seats to challenge the BJP. And in 2019 (Lok Sabha elections), he formed an alliance with Mayawati, giving the BSP more winnable seats. When Mayawati declined to form an alliance with Ajit Singh, he went a step further and gave RLD seats from his party’s quota, according to Panwar.

He noted that the SP formed agreements with minor parties for the 2022 Assembly elections in order to “fight for social justice” and that the SP also assisted RLD chairman Jayant Chaudhary in his election to the Rajya Sabha.

Akhilesh Yadav has shown a big heart in every partnership, benefiting the Samajwadi Party’s partners the most. His appeal for a “large heart” is essential since it is a prerequisite for any political partnership, according to Panwar, adding that it is up to the Congress if it wants to battle the BJP at the national level or take on regional parties for its future chances in states.

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