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Why Congress is Seeing a Silver Lining in Mayawati’s Tone Towards Rahul, Sonia Gandhi Amid Alliance Snub


New Delhi: Refusing to join issues with BSP chief Mayawati’s trenchant criticism of senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, Congress has said it “respects” BSP chief Mayawati’s opinion and expressed hope that the relationship between the two parties will be ironed out.

“Mayawati has expressed her opinion, we respect it. She also expressed confidence in Rahulji and Sonia ji,” party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters at a party briefing in Delhi.

The BSP chief, while announcing her party’s decision to go solo in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, blamed Digvijaya Singh for the breakup, but spared Rahul and Sonia, saying that she feels their “intentions for Congress-BSP alliance are honest.”

By not going after the Gandhi family in her attack on the Congress, Mayawati has left the door ajar for a tie-up for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The speculation of a grand alliance with Mayawati at its centre had started with the warm embrace she shared with Sonia Gandhi at the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy in May this year.

But since then, the proposed grand alliance has suffered several setbacks as the parties have failed to agree on projecting a face for PM as well as seat sharing.

The BSP supremo’s blistering attack on Congress was quickly billed as death knell of the Mahagathbandhan, but by avoiding criticism of the party’s first family, Mayawati has instead kept it alive.

She focused her tirade only on Digvijaya Singh and accused him of sabotaging the alliance. “Digvijay Singh is a BJP and RSS agent. He is giving statements that BSP chief is under pressure and hence is not aligning with the Congress,” Mayawati alleged.

The Congress saw the silver lining and reciprocated in equal measure by expressing hope of sorting out contentious issues.

“If there is consensus between Mayawati, our president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, then no other person can create trouble,” Randeep Surjewala said responding to BSP chief’s attempts to leave enough space for future alignments.

Meanwhile, former MP CM Digvijay Singh has defended his statement on BSP’s reluctance to forge alliance with the Congress. “I respect Mayawati a lot. PM and Amit Shah control the ED and CBI. They are using it against the opposition,” he alleged.

He also expressed confidence that the two parties would form an alliance for 2019 general elections. “Congress and BSP have a natural alliance. Mahagathbandhan is for the nation. I was never against it,” he said.

But he added that Mayawati never favoured joining hands for the state elections, as she declared candidates for 22 seats unilaterally even before talks could happen.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna

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