Sharad Pawar-led NCP today said the ‘acceptance’ of Congress party will increase in states where it is directly pitted against BJP, after its good performance in the Gujarat elections. “In states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where there is a straight fight between BJP and Congress, the latter will benefit,” Maharashtra NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik told PTI here. “Where there are straight fights, Congress will benefit. Their acceptance will increase,” Malik, a former state minister, said. “But in states where there are small (opposition) parties, Congress will have to take them along. What can Congress do on its own in states like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal,” he said. “Congress can’t fight BJP alone. They will have to take other parties along if they have to defeat BJP and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi,” Malik said. “For Congress, there is no option but to cobble up an alliance of opposition parties. They should take the lead in this. Congress being the big party should do this. Our (NCP) desire is that the opposition should be united to take on the BJP,” Malik said. The NCP leader said it was likely that the Lok Sabha elections will take place next year, instead of in 2019, along with polls in some states. In the 182-member Gujarat Assembly, while BJP retained power by bagging 99 seats, Congress improved its tally winning 77 seats.