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The Congress and BSP are reported to have decided on an alliance for Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh (MP) later this year and intend to have a tie up for elections in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh as well, said media reports on Saturday.

The Congress MP chief Kamal Nath confirmed this saying he was holding talks with BSP chief Mayawati, according to news portal The Wire. The Congress has already got the Gondwana Gantantra Party – which has a tiny hold in eastern MP – on board with the alliance, said the report.

The MP alliance, sources say, is a precursor to a wider alliance with BSP in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where the BSP polls a similar vote share. A seat-sharing pact was being worked out in the three poll-bound states with the Congress likely to cede as many as 30 seats to the BSP in MP, said another media report.

The move comes in the wake of success tasted by parties aligning to put up a joint front against the BJP, defeating it in four Lok Sabha by-polls and the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka that put paid to BJP efforts to make an entry again in the south. The turnout of leaders from a host of parties – some of which seen as bitter rivals – at the swearing in of HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka was an indication of the sentiment in favour of a joint front against BJP – just as much as Congress extending its hand to JD(S) offering unconditional support showed its readiness to ally with other parties against the BJP, shedding its ‘ego’ of being the bigger, national party.

Such an alliance could seriously jeopardise BJP’s prospects in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

Kamal Nath, who is in Delhi to complain to the Election Commission about lakhs of fake voters in the MP electoral rolls, told The Wire: “I am talking to Mayawati and we are confident that we will come to an agreement. The Shivraj government in MP and the Modi government in the Centre is a disaster for the people of the country and the Congress is committed to the project of a united opposition to take them on”.

The Congress on Friday officially said that it would work out different strategies with parties in states to ensure that there is no division of anti-BJP votes in the next general elections, reported Deccan Chronicle (DC).

While there will not be any blanket approach in working out alliances or seat adjustments in various states, the basic objective would be to ensure consolidation of anti-BJP votes, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, reported DC. He, however, remained non-committal on putting up a joint opposition candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, saying it is “too early” and it was up to political parties to decide.

“The object will be that everywhere, whether in bipolar states or triangular and quadrangular states, we must prevent vote division of the anti-BJP vote. This is what the BJP is terrified about,” he said.

At the same time, BJP leadership is facing voices of resentment and criticism from allies and even from within the party. Two BJP MLAs from Uttar Pradesh have spoken against the party leadership, the Shiv Sena has broken away, Akali Dal in Punjab is reported to be unhappy, and in Bihar, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar has started talking at BJP while his own stock has fallen after aligning with the saffron party.

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