Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishore’s move of bringing in like-minded parties on one platform to stitch a `Maha gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) seems to have derailed his own campaign of ensuring a comeback for the Congress in the coming Assembly polls.
A majority of leaders engaged with Congress campaign feel that PK was doing harm to the party by initiating an alliance with Samajwadi Party and others at this juncture when ‘they are already one up over others’.
“We already organised `27 Saal-UP Behal’ Yatra led by state chief Raj Babbar and CM candidate Sheila Dikshit in which besides the BJP and BSP, we also criticised SP, holding them responsible for the mess that the state is in,” pointed out a senior UPCC vice-president adding “now PK expects us to go to people and tell them that Akhilesh Yadav has done good work and they should vote for the coalition. This is all bullshit”.
“What does PK want from us now ? After cursing the SP, now he is trying for a coalition with them. PK is himself confused which way to go to save his credentials as a `poll strategist’. Hence, he has started applying the ‘Bihar formula’ which will only boomerang in UP,” said he.
The Congress leader further said that people have started showing faith in the party after the `27 saal-UP behal’ Yatra and Rahul Gandhi’s `Deoria Se Dilli Kisan Yatra’.
“People in rural areas, particularly farmers and poor, have started looking towards Congress as Rahulji promised to waive off farm loans, reduce their power bills, increase the Minimum Support Price. But PK’s idea of a grand alliance would only confuse the voters,” the leader said.
When asked whether the Congress would drop Sheila Dikshit as CM face if the grand alliance happened, the leader said, “The Congress is the oldest and biggest political outfit whereas the SP is a regional party. In case a coalition takes place, only Sheila Dikshit will remain the joint CM candidate of all partners.”
“None of our leaders are speaking to Mulayam Singh or Akhilesh Yadav despite the former failing to interact with senior leaders after showing interest in a coalition. Mulayam might be speaking to PK, but he has no role in decision making,” the leader asserted.
Earlier state Congress chief Raj Babbar said that there were no formal or informal talks with the SP on stitching a pre-poll alliance. However, he hinted that the Congress was ideologically closer to the SP than Mayawati’s BSP.