Big jolt to Congress in UP; BSP-SP join hands, Congress left out in cold

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Dec 19: The seat-sharing arrangement has been finalised by opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh, and sources suggest that the Congress party is nowhere in the picture and has been left out of the new arrangement. The Congress has been left out in cold and this may come as a major jolt to the Mahagathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh where BSP and SP are joining hands to be a formidable force in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming elections.Congress may be basking in the new-found glory after the stupendous victory in three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh; the three major Hindi heartland. But that's it. This does not give India's grand old party freedom to portray Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the PM face; at least some parties of the 'mahagathbandhan' are ensuring this.And that is why views expressed by Stalin that Rahul Gandhi should be the PM face, was not lapped up by all. On December 16, talking to reporters after unveiling a statue of his father and legendary Tamil leader M Karunanidhi in Chennai, Stalin had "proposed" Rahul Gandhi's name as the Opposition's PM candidate.BSP, SP and CPI (M) have cleverly distanced themselves from this statement saying it is not necessarily the alliance's opinion."The people of the country are unhappy with the BJP and that it why the Congress got success in three states. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and others had tried to bring all the leaders together to form an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. If someone (Stalin) is giving his opinion on the PM candidate, it is not necessary that all alliance partners have the same opinion," Akhilesh Yadav said.His comments come days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too disapproved of Stalin's projection of Rahul Gandhi as the Opposition's PM candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.