Congress’ options open: may dump DMK, may not need Maya

May 15th, 2009 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj Party New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) The Congress was keeping a range of options open for post-poll allies, including the possibility of dumping DMK in Tamil Nadu for AIADMK, though the party believes it may not need Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati’s support.
“We will not ally with zero,” a senior Congress leader not wishing to be named said, indicating the possibility of an alliance with J. Jayalalithaa of AIADMK in case DMK scores zero or only a few seats.

The Congress leader said that in such a case the party “can have an alliance with AIADMK, but everything will depend on the results on May 16″.

In 2004, the Congress-DMK coalition had swept the Lok Sabha polls in the state by winning all the 39 seats and also the one seat in neighbouring union territory of Puducherry.

The two parties have a pre-poll alliance this time, but there is strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling DMK in the state.

Rejecting the possibility of a post-poll alliance with Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party BSP, the Congress leader said: “There will be no need of an alliance with BSP because if we add the number of seats that Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will get then it will be more than the seats that BSP will get and they have already said that they are with the United Progressive Alliance (the Congress-led UPA).”

Though RJD chief Lalu Prasad and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan are ministers in the UPA government, they tied up with the Samajwadi Party, forming a so-called Fourth Front, and fielded candidates against the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They have, however, reiterated time and again that they are with the UPA.

Though the SP was not part of the UPA government, it provided crucial support to it when the Left parties withdrew support to it over the India-US nuclear deal last year.

After maintaining their anti-Congress stance, the Left parties this week have apparently softened and given indications of not coming in the way of a Congress-led government.

Speaking on the issue of a tie-up with the Left parties, the Congress leader said: “We cannot leave Mamta Banerjee.”

Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress, the main opposition in the Left-ruled West Bengal, allied with the Congress ahead of the polls.

The Congress leader did not foresee any alliance with the Biju Janata Dal and said Orissa’s ruling party will not come to the UPA because “the Congress is BJD’s natural opponent”.

Similarly, the Congress leader put a full stop to speculation of a post-poll alliance with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), a key constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“Nitish is a natural ally of BJP as he has to run the government with the BJP in Bihar.”

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