RS poll cross-voting: SP-Congress alliance goes awry as wind blows the BJP way in UP

Lucknow, Feb 27 (IANS): It was a perfectly scripted story that went awry even before it could unfold on the political stage.

The much-hyped alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh has been devastated – to put it rather mildly – in their own bastions in the Rajya Sabha elections.

While the Samajwadi Party faced a major revolt in its ranks with seven MLAs deserting it during the RS polls by cross-voting in favour of the BJP, it is the Congress that has faced a worse debacle since the RS polls have left it bereft of support in its own bastions – Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Samajwadi leaders in these two constituencies have led the revolt, clearly indicating that they are in no mood to accept the alliance with the Congress.

The Congress, on the other hand, has lost whatever hope of support it had from the Samajwadi Party ahead of the general elections.

The party can no longer hope to ride piggy back to success in its own bastions.

In Rae Bareli, the revolt on Tuesday was led by Manoj Pandey, the chief whip of the Samajwadi legislative party.

Pandey was the only non-BJP leader of consequence in Rae Bareli. The two other former Congress leaders, Dinesh Pratap Singh and Aditi Singh, had already joined the BJP earlier.

Manoj Pandey, if sources are to be believed, could be the BJP candidate for the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat.

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party, meanwhile, have no leader worth his weight who can take on the BJP in Rae Bareli.

The other Congress bastion that faces an opposition rout is Amethi.

SP MLA Rakesh Pratap Singh, who represents the Gauriganj Assembly seat in Amethi, was the first one to cross vote in favour of the BJP on Tuesday.

Another SP MLA from Amethi -- Maharaji Prajapati, the wife of jailed former SP minister Gayatri Prajapati -- did not turn up to cast her vote. She is also set to join the BJP.

With these two MLA crossing over to the BJP, all five Assembly constituencies in Amethi are now with the state's ruling party.

The development, which comes days after Rahul Gandhi led his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra to Amethi, leaves the Congress ‘homeless and hopeless’ here, while the going will be super smooth for Union minister Smriti Irani in Amethi.

One of the SP rebels, who spoke to IANS on condition of anonymity, said, “We see no hope, no future in the SP-Congress alliance. The PDA formula of SP seems designed to target the Hindus and adopt an offensive posture on the Ram temple issue.

"The Congress does not have any policy in such matters and seems totally disconnected with the ground realities. Both the parties are walking into nowhere and we are sure that more leaders from both parties will join the BJP sooner than later.”

About 130 km away from Amethi, SP MLA from Ambedkar Nagar, Rakesh Pandey, also voted for the BJP and made his preference clear.

His son and BSP MP Ritesh Pandey had joined the BJP in Delhi last week.

Ambedkar Nagar was considered a SP-BSP stronghold, but it now seems to be turning a deep shade of saffron with the latest political developments.

Interestingly, the lone BSP MLA, Uma Shankar Singh, also voted for the BJP on Tuesday – a clear indication of which way the wind is blowing and how it is blowing away the INDIA bloc in Uttar Pradesh.



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Title: RS poll cross-voting: SP-Congress alliance goes awry as wind blows the BJP way in UP

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