Lucknow, Dec 4 (IANS): Soon after the declaration of Assembly results in all five states, the blame game between the two constituents of the INDIA bloc, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress began in real earnest.
While the SP is blaming the Congress for its “arrogance” and Kamal Nath’s “Akhilesh-Vakhilesh” jibe which made the Backward Class voters feel insulted, UP Congress President Ajay Rai said that his observation about regional parties (read SP) being the ‘B Team’ of the BJP has come true.
“Regional parties which took the electoral plunge in other states can now see for themselves how they played as the ‘B Team’ of the BJP, which ended up becoming the sole winner,” he said.
The SP may have failed to open its account in Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, but statistics reveal that it did prevent the Congress from adding more numbers to its tally, which would have been avoided, had the two parties joined hands to contest the elections.
Senior Congress leaders concede that the vote share of the party has gone down in Madhya Pradesh as compared to 2018 and the performance of the candidates fell short of expectations.
According to the data available with the Election Commission, SP got a vote share of 0.45 per cent as compared to that of 1.3 per cent in 2018.
In the previous elections, the party had bagged one seat but failed to open its account this time around. “It is time to look ahead now. We will continue to strengthen our party in MP. For SP, the focus has now shifted to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” said the party’s National Secretary Rajendra Chaudhary.
“Our prime objective now is to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The party will stand by its commitment as a member of the INDIA bloc and do everything to challenge the BJP in UP,” said the former SP minister.
He added, “It was the Congress itself that chose not to enter into an alliance with the SP. It is sheer arrogance of the state leadership to blame the SP for the Congress’ defeat in MP.”
The Congress and SP were involved in a bitter exchange all through the election campaign in MP after the Congress walked out of an alliance with the SP unannounced, just 90 days before polling.
As if to prove a point, the SP then fielded 60 candidates as Akhilesh along with Mainpuri MP Dimple Yadav and party National General Secretary Shivpal Yadav campaigned extensively together, addressing over 30 public meetings and road shows in the state.
UPCC chief Ajay Rai said, “The outcome, in a way, has proved that the Congress is the only party that can beat the BJP. Besides winning Telangana, the Congress has secured over 40 per cent votes in remaining states. This suggests that the Congress is the only force that can beat the BJP.”
He said that the Congress would contest the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with full might.