Press Trust of india

'SP, BSP support raises hopes of mahagathbandhan'

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Lucknow, Dec 12:  The support extended by the SP and the BSP to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh has raised hopes of a grand alliance of anti-BJP parties in states like Uttar Pradesh ahead of the Lok Sabha election next year, analysts said.

Ramesh Dixit, former head of Political Science department at Lucknow University, said doubts over a “mahagathbandhan” of anti-BJP parties have been cleared by the manner in which the SP and the BSP have “risen to the occasion”.

On Monday, both BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav skipped a meeting of non-BJP parties to discuss opposition unity.

But on Wednesday morning, Mayawati said in statement that her party would extend support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh to form a government and, “if needed”, in Rajasthan.

Yadav also extended support to the party in Madhya Pradesh.

In both states, the Congress fell slightly short of the halfway-mark on its own as results of the December 7 elections came in.

"There was already an understanding between the SP and the BSP and with this step of theirs it has become clear that they understand the necessity of accommodating the Congress also in Uttar Pradesh, where the national party has been left with a limited support base," Dixit told PTI.

Another academician Nadeem Hasnain said the results will give the Congress more bargaining power.

"With these results, the regional parties will no doubt take the Congress more seriously, realising that they will need the Congress at the national level to effectively challenge the ruling party," he said.

But he added a note of scepticism over Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati's offer.

"If Mayawati had been more reasonable she could have easily got into an alliance in these Assembly polls itself.

“Today also she said that her party was extending support with a heavy heart," he said.

Both analysts said the Congress and other constituents needed to be reasonable” in their expectations on seat-sharing.

Hasnain said the latest election results had dented the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “invincibility”.

While the SP has got one seat in Madhya Pradesh, the BSP bagged two seats there. In Rajasthan, it won six.

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