The idea of United Opposition Front has taken its last breathe as SP-BSP snub Congress. Once bitter rivals and now allies in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party boss Mayawati met in Delhi on Friday to discuss a mahagathbandhan or grand alliance to take on the BJP in the heartland state.

The Grand Alliance was on the cards since the 2018 by-polls in UP. (Read more: The downfall of BJP lies in ideas up-bringing communal-ism. :Akhilesh  and  Bypoll Results: A setback to saffron Juggernaut) Once SP and BSP were bitter rivals. It changed after BJP annihilated these stalwarts completely in the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls as well as Assembly Polls. It was a wake-up call for these regional powerhouses and they responded well by forming a Grand-Alliance to keep BJP at bay.

The alliance, say sources, will have room for smaller parties. The final decision on seat-sharing will be taken after January 15, sources said, adding Chaudhary Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal or RLD is likely to get three seats in the grand alliance.

Even though the Congress will be kept out of the coalition, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati do not intend to field any candidate in Amethi and Raebareli – the stronghold of the Gandhis, sources added.

Akhilesh Yadav had last week indicated at payback when his party’s only lawmaker in Madhya Pradesh did not make it to new Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s list of ministers. The Congress, he said, had gone back on its promise to do so, despite his party’s role in helping the Congress reach the majority mark.

“Thanks to the Congress, they did not make our vidhayak (legislator) a minister,” Akhilesh Yadav had told reporters last week. By doing so, the Congress had “cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh,” he had said.

2019 Polls is important for both these parties. The BJP and its allies had won 73 of the 80 seats in the last general elections in Uttar Pradesh. On the other side, BSP was wiped out in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and in the 2017 Assembly election, it won just 19 seats. It is evident that the 2019 Lok Sabha general elections will be a fight for survival for the BSP supremo and her party. SP will also suffer from the same fate if it doesn’t perform well.

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