Regional parties key in some states

The two national parties — the Congress and the BJP — are not approaching “like-minded parties” to expand the UPA and the NDA before the general elections, for different reasons.

Although they are fighting the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Delhi on their own, they are depending on pre-poll alliances in key states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, and Jharkhand.
The BJP will like to fight the Lok Sabha polls in an alliance with regional parties in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, besides Maharashtra and Punjab, where it has been contesting the elections together with the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal.
But it could go alone in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. In fact, the saffron party is confident of winning about 45 seats in UP and Bihar on its own this time.
Supporters of Mr Narendra Modi in the BJP claim that he will create a wave in the southern states and in West Bengal, Assam, Haryana either on his Gujarat model of development or Hindutva and his “strong” personality despite he lacking the charisma of Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. They said the anti-Congress regional parties like the AIADMK, Trinamul Congress, BJD and TDP will be with the NDA after the polls and recalled how the BSP had backed the BJP in UP and at the Centre.
On the other hand, the Congress will have to ally with the “like-minded parties” in UP, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. It has been fighting the Lok Sabha and the Assembly polls with the NCP, the National Conference and with allies in the UDF and in Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.
Although the Congress is expected to begin talks of seat-sharing with the anti-BJP parties after the November-December Assembly polls, the Left, SP, DMK, RJD, JD(U) and JD(S) could be its post-poll allies.

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