Questions over alliance in MP as tensions rise between SP, Cong

Opposition parties under the I.N.D.I.A bloc are engaged in deliberations over the future of the alliance in various parts of the country. A coordination committee meeting was held a few days ago to discuss the distribution of seats, recent developments in Uttar Pradesh have created some friction between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress. This has been attributed to discussions over seat sharing in Bagheshwar, Uttarakhand. On 8 September, the results of both the Ghosi and Bagheshwar Assembly seats were declared in UP and Uttarakhand respectively. While the Samajwadi Party won the Ghosi seat, the BJP secured the Bagheshwar seat.
In Ghosi, the main contest was between the SP and the BJP. As a result, the Congress did not field its candidate in Ghosi and instead issued a letter of support to the SP candidate. On the other hand, the contest in the Bagheshwar constituency of Uttarakhand was between the BJP and the Congress, but the SP fielded their own candidate.
Congress UP president Ajay Rai blamed the SP for the loss in Uttarakhand, while the Samajwadi Party claims that the Congress did not seek their support in Uttarakhand. This, they claim is despite the party seeking Congress support in UP. This ongoing exchange might not be limited to just that, according to political experts. Both before and after the two by-elections, the two parties were in talks about putting up a united front. However, Rai made certain statements that SP leaders took exception to. It is now being speculated that one reason behind this from the Congress’s side could be the upcoming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh. There are indications that Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party has demanded half a dozen seats from the Congress in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. Given the SP’s increased activity, it is clear that Akhilesh may field his party in the state Assembly elections. Looking at the political situation in Madhya Pradesh, the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP. In this context, if the SP enters the state, it could harm the Congress. Experts believe that the political sparring seen in UP over the last few days could be related to this, as Akhilesh is trying to strengthen his party’s position in Madhya Pradesh right from the Lok Sabha elections.

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