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Uttar Pradesh 'grand alliance' under strain as SP only willing to concede Amethi, Rae Bareli to Congress

Barely two weeks after the results of the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, the grand alliance in the state appears to have hit a rocky patch. Ties between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress have been strained over seat-sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Sources have told News18 that the SP is only willing to give the Amethi and Rae Bareli seats to the grand old party. The party, however, has said that it has completed talks with the BSP and RLD for the alliance, according to a UNI report.

This comes as further bad news to the Congress, after reports that the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have opposed the Congress' Rajya Sabha candidate. The Congress also attracted the anger of the Aam Aadmi Party as it refused to extend support to the latter in its standoff with the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

The 'grand alliance' had seen happier times only recently, as it won two bypolls in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

There have been five bypolls ever since the BJP government took over the reins of most populous and politically most crucial state in the country, but it has lost four. Barring Akbarpur in Kanpur Rural, the ruling saffron camp has lost Gorakhpur, Phulpur, Kairana and Noorpur. The BJP's loss in Gorakhpur was the most significant as it is the home turf of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Following the results of the bypolls, the Congress had decided to step up efforts to prevent division of anti-BJP votes by seeking to identify the strongest candidate in each seat in the forthcoming electoral contests.

At the time, Congress sources had said the informal talks were underway to find a common ground with Opposition parties even as the party has embarked on the process to identify candidates in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

With inputs from IANS

Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 16:01 PM

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