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Cong looking for tie-ups with regional players to defeat BJP in 2019


Agencies, New Delhi, After the victory of the joint opposition candidate over BJP in the recent by-elections of Uttar Pradesh, Congress is looking to forge similar tie-ups with other Opposition parties to defeat the ruling party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Sources in the party said the success of the strategy to put up a joint opposition nominee in the Kairana Lok Sabha bypoll and Noorpur Assembly by-election in Uttar Pradesh has encouraged the Congress to explore the possibility of tie-ups with regional opposition parties in various seats across the country. In fact, in a press conference earlier this week, AICC Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, ‘There cannot be a uniform strategy for all the states. However, we are working on a strategy to consolidate anti-BJP votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.’ Sources said the Congress is exploring the possibility of tie-ups with regional players in around 400 Lok Sabha seats to check the BJP in the 2019 election. In fact, the party is also mulling tie-ups with other opposition parties in the forthcoming assembly elections in Madhya pradesh and Chhattisgarh to defeat the BJP, which is presently in power in both states. Sources said the Congress is working towards a tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, scheduled to be held around November this year. The sources said senior party leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are in talks with BSP chief Mayawati and senior BSP leader Satish Misra for a pre-poll agreement in MP. Similar tie-up is also being explored in Chhattisgarh to consolidate anti-BJP votes. In order to work towards tie-up with regional players for Lok Sabha elections, Congress is planning to set up committees of senior party leaders to hold discussions with other Opposition parties. This process, sources said, could be sped up in the coming days. The party’s willingness to explore tie-ups with regional players in various states is a marked change from its earlier policy of ‘Ekla chalo’ (going it alone) in states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Sources said the success of the Congress-RJD-JD U grand alliance against BJP in the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, the SP-BSP tie up in Gorakhpur Lok Sabha by-election and the joint opposition front for the Kairana Lok Sabha by-election and the Noorpur Assembly by-election has led to greater flexibility in the Congress stand. While in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is working together with the SP, BSP and the RLD, in Bihar, it is working with the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janta Dal. In Maharashtra, it is exploring tie-up with the Nationalist Congress Party.In Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, it is in talks with the BSP.Further, the party is also willing to forge tie-up with other Opposition parties in Haryana, West Bengal and Kerala.

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