In a surprise move, Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, invited to the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to attend the UPA government’s fourth anniversary celebrations on May 22.
According to political analysts, both the SP and the Congress stand to gain in the next general elections in Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for 80 parliamentary seats. The Congress and the SP have a similar vote bank, which would not get divided if the two parties decide to come together. In the Lok Sabha, the SP has a strength of around 40, which includes the Rashtriya Lok Dal. If the Congress, SP and RLD come together on a common platform, these parties could aim to win at least 50 seats in UP. The Bahujan Samaj Party has also been invited to the UPA celebrations, as Mayawati, has not yet formally withdrawn support to the Congress-led government at the Centre.
Mulayam Singh Yadav joined hands with the Left and actively opposed the UPA government on issues such as the nuclear deal with the United States. Now, signaling the shift in its approach, the SP has indicated that it is willing to give the Congress a hearing if it had any new approach on the nuclear deal. This is a clear indication that it is ready to do a rethink on its stand on the nuclear deal.