The suspense over possible electoral understanding between Congress and Samajwadi Party in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh seems to be growing even as Congress high command has been maintaining a stoic silence over the issue of alliance. According to a TV report, Congress is not too keen about UP ‘mahagatbandhan’ as Rahul Gandhi is opting for a wait and watch strategy before a possible tie-up ahead of the 2017 UP assembly elections. Notably, the report suggests that Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad has been entrusted with the responsibility to look after the alliance talks in Uttar Pradesh. Negotiations among parties have continued, with Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor meeting both Mulayam and Amar Singh.
Earlier, Pradip Mathur, Congress’s Legislature Party Leader told the ToI that the most of the MLAs extended their support for a pre-poll alliance after which Rahul Gandhi informed them that their opinion would be considered as top priority. Since it is very evident that that BSP looks in no mood for an alliance, the other possible alliance remains to be RLD and SP. A congress manager had said that SP’s attempt to explore the possibility of an alliance was not just a “test balloon”. Earlier, 17 Congress MLAs from Uttar Pradesh had urged Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to join secular forces for the assembly elections in 2017 after Samajwadi Party’s UP President Shivpal Yadav hinted an alliance. The only sign of a turning back on the possibility is that no senior leader has yet come out speaking about this in public. Although, there are other murmurs going around which suggest that an allianec with the SP would cause damage to the Congress.
Since it is very evident that that BSP looks in no mood for an alliance, the other possible alliance remains to be RLD and SP. Sources also informed the IE that Rahul Gandhi initially met with all the 17 MLAs individually and later addressed them collectively. He also wanted to know the impact of his Kisan Yatra in the state.