By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: Congress Party under the guidance of Priyanka Gandhi is building rainbow coalition of different smaller parties and groups to enlarge are support base to take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh. There is a realisation in Congress about its limitation due to two seats in Lok Sabha, six seats in Vidhan Sabha and six percents of vote share in the State.
This is why Priyanka Gandhi adopted strategy to rope in smaller parties and groups in get powerful leaders from different parties and field them in Lok Sabha elections. As a part of strategy Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scidia met leaders of Mahan Dal for an alliance before Lok Sabha polls. After meeting leaders of Mahan Dal, Priyanka Gandhi said that Congress wanted to fight jointly with Mahan Dal as Rahul Gandhi wanted to give representation to every section of society. After meeting with Priyanka Gandhi, Scindia announced alliance with Mahan Dal for Western UP.
It would be worth mentioning here that Mahan Dal has support from OBC voters of western UP especially Shakyas Mauryas and Kushwaha. Mahan Dal had supported Congress led UPA in 2014. In western UP Mahan Dal contested three Lok Sabha constituencies Badaun Nagina and Etah though it last all.
Congress leaders also in touch with both the factions of Apna Dal to mobilise powerful Kumi backward votes for Lok Sabha polls. Union minister Anupriya Patel and her sister Pankhuri who are heading rival groups of Apna Dal met senior Congress leaders. Congress leaders are also in touch with Nishad Party which commands good influence in eastern UP.
Similarly Priyanka Gandhi met Dr Ayub President of Peace Party for an alliance in eastern UP. Peace Party has good presence in eastern UP especially in Muslim community. During last two three polls Peace Party candidates won in UP Assembly while other candidates manage to get good number of votes.
Senior Congress leaders are also in touch with President of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party. Shivpal Yadav who commanded number two position during Akhilesh Yadav Government and was state President of Samajwadi Party.
There is no doubt that Shivpal Yadav has influence in and around his home turf Itawah and he can organise good number of votes for Congress if given opportunity for alliance.
Since SP- BSP alliance has left two seats for Congress in Rae Bareli and Amethi, Congress leadership is finding it difficult to take decision on Shivpal Yadav.
Priyanka has inducted powerful persons from other parties and given tickets to Contest Lok Sabha. Under this arrangement so far Savitri Bai Phule, Omwati, Rakesh Sachan, family member of former Union Minister Ramlal Rahi, Kauserjahan have been given tickets. Rahul Gandhi repeatedly said that he learnt from BJP to make rainbow coalition and he was implementing it in the country.