Blow to Indian opposition unity as Mayawati dumps Congress

The so-called ‘Mahagathbandhan’ or grand alliance of India’s opposition parties is crumbling ahead of state assembly polls in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh ruled by their common enemy, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), giving it an edge over them in general elections next year.

Mayawati, leader of the weakest strata of Indian society called Bahujans, on Wednesday dumped Congress party led by the Gandhi family for its “arrogance” over its “winning powers” and the sharing of seats with poll partners.

Addressing a press conference, Mayawati said she would not allow the self-centred Congress to destroy her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Congress is trying to eliminate smaller parties like BSP by forming alliance with them in the name of wiping out BJP.

The BSP will be a loser if it remains with the alliance as its votes would get transferred to Congress, she said, adding that her party may contest alone or tie up with local parties in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

She said that while professing alliance, Congress did not offer her party respectable number of seats. The Congress was offering it only nine of 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, 15 to 20 of 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 5-6 of 90 seats in Chhattisgarh.

Calling Congress a corrupt, caste-based and communal party, Mayawati said she was particularly upset by veteran Digvijay Singh’s comment that she was pressured by federal investigative agencies to tie up with the local party Janata Congress for state assembly elections in Chhattisgarh which is also ruled by BJP.

She said Congress leaders have become so arrogant they think they can defeat the BJP on their own. But voters know how corrupt its leaders are and they will never forgive them.

Mayawati did not say whether her pull-out from the alliance for state polls would have any impact on the 2019 general elections.
Congress is hoping things will improve before the big elections. A party spokesman said issues can be sorted out if Mayawati has faith in Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

The angry Mayawati tearing into Congress at Wednesday’s media conference was in sharp contrast with her holding hands and knocking foreheads with Sonia five months ago during the inauguration of Congress government in Karnataka.