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Mayawati speaks well of Sonia Gandhi, but says no pact in MP & Rajasthan

Refusing to read much into Mayawati's allegations against the Congress, party spokesperson said the BSP supremo has expressed her confidence in Rahul Gandhi, which was most important.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2018, 06.41 AM IST
"Mayawati has expressed respect and confidence vis-a-vis Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi and that is the most important issue rather than looking for multiple meanings in her statements.
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New Delhi: It’s advantage BJP in Madhya Pradesh as BSP chief Mayawati said on Wednesday that her party would go it alone in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and not ally with the Congress in the upcoming assembly polls.

The BSP leader, however, did not burn her bridges with the Gandhis, acknowledging on Wednesday the honesty of the intent of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for a alliance against the BJP, a statement that has kept the door open for the possibility of an alliance for the 2019 general elections.

In fact, Mayawati attributed her present decision specifically to a statement made by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh earlier in the day to the effect that she was hesitant to tie up with the Congress as the BJP government was intimidating her using the Central Bureau of Investigation to target her brother.
Another BJP leader in the state said that the turn of events showed that infighting persisted in the Congress leadership in Madhya Pradesh.
However, people aware of the matter told ET that the Congress had refused to budge from its stand on parting with no more than 20-25 of the 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh as part of possible seat-sharing with the BSP while Mayawati was insistent on at least 60 seats.

On September 21, ET had reported that the BSP state president, Pradeep Ahirwar, had told the newspaper that Mayawati had ordered the party’s state unit to fight on all 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh and that the complete list would be out by the end of the first week of October. The full list is expected this week now.

BJP’s national vice president Prabhat Jha, a Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh, said Mayawati’s announcement was a “slap on the face of (Congress leaders) Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia” who had said an alliance was on the cards. “A triangular fight makes the job even easier for us. Congress was anyway very weak and had conceded defeat when it showed its desperation to tie up with BSP,” Jha said. He said since BJP was in power in UP, it would help the BJP in the MP districts next to the UP border too – such as Reva, Satna, Bhind and Morena. “BSP had an impact in these MP districts when it was in power in UP,” he said.

Another BJP leader in the state said that the turn of events showed that infighting persisted in the Congress leadership in Madhya Pradesh.

“(Digvijaya) Singh’s comments were avoidable as he was not part of talks with BSP at all. The negotiations were handled by Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia,” said a senior Congress leader in the state. Nath had last week said that the Congress had tried its best and it was now up to the BSP to decide on the alliance.

Meanwhile, the Congress put up a brave face, with its working president in the state and national secretary Jitu Patwari saying the party would “win the state election 100%, with or without an alliance”. Patwari told ET that the party had been trying for an alliance with the BSP since it wanted to bring all like-minded parties against the BJP together, for otherwise “the anti-BJP votes get split and benefit the BJP”. Asked if this would not happen now, Patwari said some votes might get split but there was still no doubt over a Congress win in the state.

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