New Delhi: Keeping in mind the prospects of a grand alliance in 2019, Congress is working on a `package deal’ with Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh — the three states that will go for Assembly polls this year.
According to sources, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has asked the respective state in-charges of the party to finalise the modalities on seat sharing. Sources added that Congress does not want the secular votes to be divided at any cost and is willing to walk extra mile to accommodate allies.
“We have done our home work and in a day or two party president will sit with the state in-charges of the three states,” one state incharge told ANI.
In Chattisgarh, BSP has one sitting MLA. In the last assembly elections BSP had finished second on two seats while they got 300 hundred to 35000 thousand votes on 22 seats. However, on these 22 seats Congress has 12 sitting MLAs. Hence, it has ruled out giving these to BSP. Negotiations are now on for the remaining 12 seats. Sources said that BSP try to convince Congress to give them more seats where BJP is strong. They are hopeful of managing 5-7 seats from Congress.
However, in MP where BSP is more strong than other two states, they are bargaining hard with Congress.
Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Kamal Nath recently refuted speculations about rift between Congress and BSP after Ajeet Jogi met Mayawati. He said Mayawati has not ditched Congress and talks with BSP on seat sharing is still going on.
During assembly elections of Rajasthan in 2013, even though BSP contested at 195 seats out of 200 it won only three seats and got 3.4 per cent vote share. BSP is now looking for more seats under alliance with Congress in the state.(ANI)