On Alliance, Rahul Gandhi Defends Congress, Says BJP Lacks Allies

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On Alliance, Rahul Gandhi Defends Congress, Says BJP Lacks Allies

NEW DELHI: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today said perception that only the BJP has got its alliances in order is incorrect. Mr Gandhi, who was in Chennai today, also said the alliances in a number of states are 'formed up'.

'Alliances in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar is practically concluded. The alliance in Jammu and Kashmir is close to final stages,' he said in his first interaction with the media since the elections were announced. 'In fact, the people who do not have alliances are the BJP and we are fighting as a combined opposition.'

Questions have been raised about the status of the opposition unity as the Congress party fumbled repeatedly over state-level alliances in Delhi, Bengal and the most crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

In all three states, the Congress had failed to get the regional power on its side despite being officially united at the national level. In Bengal, it has alienated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by allying with the Left.  In Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, it would contest all seats.

Mr Gandhi has been criticized by Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party for failing to grasp the importance of not splitting the anti-BJP vote.
The BJP, in comparison have been busy lining up its allies. Party chief Amit Shah has brokered peace with fractious ally Uddhav Thackeray, managed to bring back Asom Gana Parishad into the fold in Assam and kept Bihar's Nitish Kumar happy by agreeing to his 50:50 seat division demand.

Even Uttar Pradesh's tiny regional ally Apna Dal, which was seen as having itchy feet, has been reassured after Mr Shah held a meeting with its chief Ashish Patel.

The party, which has a sketchy presence in all southern states except Karnataka, has managed to forge a new alliance with Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK, which gives it a shot at the state's 39 seats.

 Mr Gandhi said the single biggest issue facing the country is unemployment and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a 'flop show' so far as generating jobs are concerned, he said. The BJP's idea is to capture every institution of the country and run them from Nagpur, the RSS headquarters.