Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, AICC President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi (right to left).

2019 Polls: Opposition Unites for UP; Seat-Sharing Talks Shortly

The Grand Opposition coalition is a done deal in Uttar Pradesh and many other states, Congress sources close to the top leadership told The Quint. The party is confident that seat-sharing is just a formality which will be amicably settled shortly.

"Our strategy is two-fold: Our top priority is to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Once that is accomplished, the discussion on the Prime Ministerial candidate will follow. The only way to achieve that objective is by forging a broad-based alliance. Once that is done, it is going to be very, very tough ask for Modi-led BJP, " the leader told The Quint.

The parties have reached a consensus as far as the political strategy is concerned, but the division of seats is yet to be discussed, a source said.

Sources familiar with the latest developments in the Congress camp also said they feel Narendra Modi will become the prime minister in 2019 only if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gets 230-240 seats in the Lok Sabha.

“We will get more seats in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra, if our coalition takes shape in time. The BJP’s number will go down massively. They won’t win more than 5 in UP, and then other NDA allies won’t let Modi become the prime minister again,” the source said.

Shiv Sena has made it more than clear that it would be going to the 2019 elections on its own, sources added.

Who Will Contest From Raebareli? Sonia or Priyanka?

The Gandhi scion will contest polls from Amethi, the sources said, but the family is yet to take a call on Raebareli, from where either Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi will represent the Congress. They added that the party has complaints against the Modi government, which it will highlight in the run-up to the 2019 polls.

“The Prime Minister’s Office didn’t act despite receiving a complaint against Mehul Choksi. He (Choksi) got a clean chit and he fled the country. How could one flee without the system’s approval,” the top source in the Congress said.

The BJP resorts to polarisation to win elections, but we will corner them on issues that concern the country, the source claimed.

Sources also said that the issue of EVM is also under serious consideration and a collective decision will be taken soon.