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No alliance with Congress anywhere for 2019 Lok Sabha elections: Mayawati

Mar 12 (AZINS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will not join hands with the Congress in any state for the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections, party supremo Mayawati has said.

Mayawati's comments are in line with its decision to tie up with archrival Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, while keeping the Congress at arm's length. The BSP-SP combine has decided not to contest the two seats - Raebareilly and Amethi - that are usually held by the Congress's first family.

The BSP and SP have also built their own alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, accommodating smaller players like the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, the SP-BSP front will contest 78.

The BSP will contest from 38 seats and SP from 37, with three seats allotted to the RLD.

The seat sharing formula had effectively shut the door on the Congress, despite the efforts of a number of leaders to build a rainbow coalition of parties across the country with the sole aim of denying a second consecutive mandate to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP.

However, the distance from the Congress is not a feature only in Uttar Pradesh for the BSP. "It has been reiterated once again that Bahujan Samaj Party will not have any alliance with Congress party in any state, to contest the upcoming elections," news agency ANI has quoted Mayawati as saying.

There were however no reports on Mayawati's views on whether she would be open to an alliance with the Congress in a post-poll scenario.

This could have a impact, however minor, for the Congress in seats across a number of states. The BSP is recognised as a national party by the Election Commission of India for its presence across more than three states. Its pockets of influence in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, apart from other states, could end up making the difference between victory or loss for the Congress.

Both the BSP and the SP seem to view the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as a battle for their survival, especially in light of the poll juggernaut that the Narendra Modo-Amit Shah combine has turned out to be since 2014.

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