The Congress party is thinking of ways to counter the BJP in Lok Sabha constituencies is it unlikely to win, reports Renu Mittal.
The Muzaffarnagar riots in western Uttar Pradesh, says senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry, was modeled on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Describing it as a trailer of what is to follow, Mistry warns that violence could break out anywhere and at anytime in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party, Mistry alleged, were hand in glove as the Samajwadi Party government in UP did not act in time to stop the riots.
Calling the clashes in Muzaffarnagar the number one failure of the Akhilesh Yadav-led government in the state, Mistry noted that such communal riots did not take place during the Bahujan Samaj Party's tenure in UP.
Gujarat native Mistry, who is considered close to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, attacked the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah and the Samajwadi Party administration.
The Congress party has not attacked the Samajwadi Party or demanded UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's resignation on the Muzaffarnagar violence issue. But Mistry did not mince words, saying there is a tacit understanding between the Samajwadi Party and the BJP.
“Whenever the Samajwadi Party comes to power," he said, "the BJP increases its tally in the state.”
Mistry, a Lok Sabha MP from Gujarat, felt Amit Shah would succeed Modi as chief minister. It was a paradox, he added, that while Modi has been named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Shah has not been named as Modi’s successor in Gujarat.
Modi wants to keep control of the state in the event of not becoming prime minister, Mistry argued.
Modi, Mistry felt, needs to increase the BJP’s tally in UP and Bihar, which is essential if he want to become prime minister.
Mistry said he has toured 20 states and claimed the BJP would not win more than 110 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election.
With Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Congress leaders are working on a strategy to transfer the party's votes to other secular parties in Lok Sabha constituencies it feels it cannot win.
In Bihar, the Congress is unsure if it will go with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal or Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United.
A third proposal is to put up candidates in such a manner in Bihar that the BJP nominee is defeated. Whether the RJD or JD-U wins the seat won’t matter to the Congress as both parties are against the BJP, particularly Modi.
Mistry believes the Muzzarfarnagar riots may backfire against the Samajwadi Party as the Muslims are angry with Samajwadi supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son, the UP chief minister .
Party sources say Congress leaders have so far not had any discussions on the possibility of a pre-poll alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party.