After forming an alliance with the regional party in 2009 as well as 2014 General Elections, Congress has once again announced a coalition with Mahan Dal. Mahan Dal has a strong hold in backward communities in central and western UP. Mahan Dal Chief was welcomed into the party by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary for eastern U.P. and Jyotiraditya Scindia, general secretary for western U.P.
â€œI welcome Mauryaji. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has given us a target of working for politics that gives representation to all classes and communities of the society. This is an attempt towards realising this goal. We want to strengthen this further to ensure fighting 2019 Lok Sabha elections with all our might and we will fight the poll with full force now,â€ Priyanka said.
Congress has announced that it will contest on all 80 seats but also did not deny the possibility of coalitions with smaller parties.
SK Dwivedi, former head of the department (political science), Lucknow University, said, â€œThe Congressâ€™s main objective is to defeat the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Besides bringing smaller parties together, the Congress is also going soft on the SP-BSP alliance. Congress president Rahul Gandhiâ€™s statement that he respects SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati reflects this.
The party may explore the option of having an understanding with SP and BSP too.â€
Priyanka Gandhi has effectively kick started her UP campaign by a massive â€œMission UPâ€ Road show which is her first initiative since her appointment as the General Secretary last month. Priyanka Gandhi is also said to lead Congress in Telangana and Karnataka in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.