The Congress that has been left out of the proposed alliance between Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls has sent out a stern message to the two UP politicians, saying ignoring the party would be a "dangerous mistake".
Mayawati's BSP and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party have decided to contest the 2019 elections together in alliance. The main purpose for the alliance, they say, is to stop the BJP from scoring a landslide win in the state. The Congress was also in talks with the leaders for an alliance in the state. But they decided to leave the party out. They are leaving only two seats for the Congress to contest the polls on -- Amethi and Rae Bareli, which have been Nehru-Gandhi family's bastion.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi today warned of consequences if his party is left out of the coalition.
"The objective of all such parties including the SP and the BSP is similar and clear -- to try and eliminate this kind of autocratic and absolute mis-governance, to remove such people from the electoral map," he said.
"Every such party has the responsibility to synergise and ensure the efficiency of that outcome. Each of such parties have the obligation to do so. Those who do not do it will be blamed by the public," he added.
He said his party should not be underestimated, claiming the Congress had "presence" and "support base" in Uttar Pradesh.
"Nobody should underestimate the Congress with its reach, presence and support base in Uttar Pradesh. Congress is an established party in the state... We may have fallen in difficult times but ignoring us will be a dangerous mistake," Mr Singhvi said.
Akhilesh Yadav, a day before what is tipped to be the announcement of his grand alliance with Mayawati for the national election, dropped a strong hint that the Congress was likely to be out of the "club" as he spoke exclusively to NDTV.
"We can give the Congress two seats in Uttar Pradesh they have always held," Akhilesh Yadav said, but refused to give a direct answer on whether the alliance between Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the general election due by May would include Rahul Gandhi's party.
The Congress was in talks with regional parties, including the BSP and the SP, for a pan-India anti-BJP alliance.
Mayawati had fallen out with the Congress before the assembly elections, saying the Rahul Gandhi-led party was trying to finish her party. Though, she later supported the Congress in government formation in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The Samajwadi party chief had given the Congress enough to worry about with his comments last month on being denied a place in the Madhya Pradesh Congress government despite its role in helping the party reach the majority mark. He had said that by not making the Samajwadi lawmaker a minister, the Congress had "cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh".
The Congress's proposed alliance is also facing competition from K Chandrashekar Rao's proposed partnership of regional parties. The only thing different in this alliance would be that KCR also wants to leave out the Congress.
In December last year, the Congress got a shot in arm after it won assembly polls in three crucial states-- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. However, soon after that, rift came on the surface at an opposition meeting in Chennai. DMK president MK Stalin had proposed that Rahul Gandhi should be made the prime ministerial face of the block-- an idea dismissed by other partners.
With inputs from IANS