In what will be a major setback for the 'Mahagathbandhan', Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has snubbed Congress and announced a pre-poll alliance with former Chattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress for the upcoming elections in the state.
Congress, in their quest to dethrone BJP from centre in the 2019 elections, has been bringing a host of regional parties together to form an association called the 'Mahagathbandhan', which also includes the BSP.
But months ahead of the assembly election, a crack seems to be developing in the big grand alliance. Instead of siding with Congress, BSP has decided to side with Janta Congress, a party which was formed by Ajit Jogi following his expulsion from Congress in 2016.
Speaking about her party's decision on this matter, Mayawati said, "Finally, after a lot of thought, we have decided that in Chattisgarh, BSP will fight the upcoming election in an alliance with the Ajit Jogi's Janta Congress. He is a renowned person, a former IAS, Member of Parliament and CM of Chattisgarh. He has a good experience in running a government and he takes along the society with him, which is also the motto of BSP. Today we are finally announcing the alliance. We have decided the seat sharing formula with Janta Congress party. If the coalition of our party wins Shri Ajit jogi will be made CM.
The former UP chief minister then went onto launch an attack on BJP, who are presently in power in Chattisgarh. "BJP is in power since 15 years in chattishgarh and weekend the minority section of the state.BJP has just announced schemes after schemes in media but never worked on ground," she added.
Trying to control the damage this decision would cause in the 'mahagathbandhan', the Congress party went on a self-defence mode. Senior leader Raj Babbar, speaking to the media on this issue, said, "It is their decision. It is for state polls, not Lok Sabha polls. For assembly polls, everyone has their plans. It is different when it comes to lok sabha polls."
Similar sentiments were expressed by the JD(S), who are in power in Karnataka having formed a coalition government with Congress. "No problem with the alliance. Mayawati ji has clearly said that to keep out BJP, her party would align with others. Seat sharing depends from state to state. JDU and BJP had negotiations in Bihar, likewise in Chattisgarh, BSP has aligned with that party. Mayawati only said party that she'll go with the party that offers respectable seat share," JD(S)' Abdul Razzaq said.