The Samajwadi Party remains a part of the opposition bloc in India, according to Akhilesh Yadav, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. There have been rumors that Yadav may quit the party due to a disagreement with the Congress over seat-sharing for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh election. However, Yadav clarified that his focus is on his plan called ‘PDA’, which aims to target voters from backward classes, Dalit communities, and minorities, rather than the opposition alliance.
Yadav stated, “I have said this before. PDA is the party’s strategy… INDIA is the alliance…” Last week, he had mentioned that “PDA was formed first and INDIA was formed later. I have, on multiple occasions, said that though INDIA is there, our strategy is of PDA…”
The INDIA bloc, comprising 28 members, was formed this year to unite and mobilize the opposition to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the remaining state polls and the 2024 Lok Sabha election. The tension between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party escalated after the Congress allegedly refused to allocate six seats to the Samajwadi Party for the Madhya Pradesh election on November 17.
Yadav expressed his disappointment, saying, “They assured us they will think about us for six seats. When they announced candidates, there was nothing for the Samajwadi Party. If I knew, we wouldn’t have spoken to Congress.”
The Congress downplayed Yadav’s frustration, with Kamal Nath, the Madhya Pradesh Congress chief and former Chief Minister, jokingly saying, “Arre bhai chhodo Akhilesh Vakhilesh… (leave this Akhilesh Vakhilesh).”
Furthermore, signs of strain between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party have emerged as both parties have displayed banners proclaiming their respective leaders as future prime ministers. A banner outside the Congress office in Lucknow declared Rahul Gandhi as the “2024 Prime Minister,” while a poster called Akhilesh Yadav India’s “future Prime Minister.”
It remains to be seen how this disagreement will be resolved and how it will impact the opposition’s efforts to challenge the BJP in upcoming elections.