After days of haggling on seat sharing arrangement, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party finally agreed to join hands and contest the election together in Uttar Pradesh. The move it seems was dictated by primarily the consideration to consolidate the muslim votes in the state. With the muslim votes having a bearing on at least 100 of the total 403 assembly seats, it was finally decided that the Samajwadi Party would contest in 298 seats across UP. The Congress gets to contest in 105 seats.
In what seemed as a complete halt in the entire talks process after both parties were not able to reach on a mutually conducive seat sharing agreement. The Samajwadi Party was stuck on giving 90 seats to Congress and the Congress did not want to settle on any number less than 20. Finally a call from Sonia Gandhi to the Samajwadi Party chief on late Saturday night sealed the deal for both parties.
The alliance is of particular interest if we see the voting pattern in 2012. Back then the Samajwadi Party with a voting share of little over 29% had garnered 224 seats and the Congress Party bagged 28 seats with a total share of votes close to 12%. As current seat numbers, any party or alliance needs 40% of the total votes to claim majority. Well the combination surely throws up a very interesting situation and the prospect, if they play the development card appropriately, looks promising as well. Afterall the poll arithmetics and politics of votebank policies surely seem to support the move.
From the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prospect a Congress -SP alliance in the state is a key factor to watch out for and would surely influence their choice of a Chief Ministerial candidate. The question that is high on everyone’s ind at the moment is would this alliance be as effective as Bihar’s and could it seal BJP’s fate in the Hindi belt?