An SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh without the Congress was exactly what the BJP wanted initially and the two regional parties have fallen into the ruling party's design, the Congress said Monday.
Its spokesperson R P N Singh said the BJP wanted the secular parties to remain divided in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh before the 2019 Lok Sabha election and contest independently so that their votes could be split. Its attempts have proved successful, he added.
On Sunday, the Congress said it would contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the general election, expected in April-May. That the party was left out of the SP-BSP alliance would not affect its prospects and the Congress would contest with "full force", it had said.
On Monday, Singh tried to raise doubts over the longevity of the alliance, wondering whether it would last till the UP Assembly election.
He also asked whether now BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav would attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi on "corruption" in the Rafale jet deal.
"The SP-BSP coming together leaving the Congress outside is what the BJP wanted from the very beginning that the opposition parties contest independently. It seems they have fallen into the pattern that BJP wanted," he told PTI.
He said attempts are being made in all states to unite secular forces and avoid division of anti-BJP votes. "They (SP and BSP) did not express their desire to even talk to us," he alleged.
The SP-BSP alliance was formalised on Saturday at a joint presser by Mayawati and Yadav. They announced their parties would contest 38 seats each and would leave two seats for smaller allies. They also said they would not field candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareli, the traditional seats of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi respectively.
Accusing the leadership of the SP and the BSP of not attacking Prime Minister Modi on corruption, Singh said, "We don't see the leaders of these parties attacking the prime minister on corruption in the Rafale scam, the way Rahul Gandhi has attacked him."
"We expect the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to take this up as vehemently in the elections as Gandhi has taken it up," he said.
The former Union minister who hails from Padrauna in Uttar Pradesh and won the Kushinagar Lok Sabha seat in 2009, said the Congress is talking to other smaller parties in Uttar Pradesh for possible alliances for the general election.
He said whenever other political parties have undermined the Congress, the people of Uttar Pradesh have shown them what the Grand Old Party is.