The Congress on Monday claimed that the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party for the 2019 General Elections was exactly what the Bharatiya Janata Party initially wanted, PTI reported.

Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said the BJP wants the secular parties in the state to remain divided so that their votes split. He expressed doubts about the alliance and wondered if it would last till the Lok Sabha elections, which are expected to be held in April and May.

“They [Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party] did not express their desire to even talk to us,” the Congress leader said. “We expect the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party to take this up as vehemently in the elections as Gandhi has taken it up.”

Singh said the two parties would most likely not attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi “on corruption in the Rafale scam, the way [Congress President] Rahul Gandhi has attacked him”. The Congress was holding talks with smaller parties in the state about possible alliances, he added.

The two parties have indicated that they will leave Amethi and Raebareli, the constituencies of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, for the Congress. They will contest 38 seats each.

The Congress on Sunday said it would contest all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh “with full force”. The alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party will not affect its prospects, it added.