Dithering relations with most of its steady allies have left the Congress isolated like never before. Be it the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in UP or Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left parties, the growing chasm has begun to ring alarm bells for Congress.
However, a section of Congress senior leadership insists the cold shoulder by the allies is a mere bargaining tactic ahead of 2019 elections.
The recent announcement of the SP-BSP alliance has ruffled the feathers of the Congress state unit drawing sharp reactions.
Referring to the SP-BSP alliance, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar on Tuesday said at a rally, Whoever got an opportunity, has betrayed… Communalism is now being used to cover up incompetence. On the other hand, the selfish alliance of two parties is to woo not people but positions. Amid these crafty people, Congress stands to form an alliance with the people.
A section of the party, however, has been insisting on playing a more proactive role in reaching out to the upset allies and on mending ties instead of hitting out at them.
The SP-BSP tie-up is only for the upcoming bypolls and is being misread as a long-term alliance. This does not have any far-reaching implications for the Congress party that usually believes in going solo in state elections. However, the local leadership in UP needs to be careful about not saying anything offensive against SP or BSP as it could eventually backfire for us. This is the time to mend relations and not upset them all the more, said a former Congress MLA from UP.
Though CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury has insisted on an open-door policy in terms of an alliance with Congress, it was agreed in the central committee meeting of the party in Kolkata earlier this year that there will be no such understanding.
The poll results in Tripura have changed a lot of things for the Left. It is in the interest of all Opposition parties to come together and put up a united front. This is not just the Congress partys battle alone, said a senior party leader requesting anonymity.
Positive feelers by Sharad Pawars Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has given the Congress much hope in Maharashtra as well as Gujarat.
The NCP reached out to us on their own and wanted to tie up with the Congress for the local body polls. They are an important ally and has gone to town telling how they see a great future in the Congress party and its chief Rahul Gandhi. It is incorrect to say that we stand alone in this battle against the BJP. The 2019 general elections are a year away and the alliance formation process will pick momentum in the coming months, said a senior party functionary, in charge of negotiations with the NCP.