New Delhi: In a surprise development, the Congress, in order to stitch an alliance with the BSP for the state elections, has nudged its reluctant Madhya Pradesh unit. 

Congress head Rahul Gandhi called Madhya Pradesh unit head Kamal Nath on Wednesday and suggested an effort be made to reclaim the association. Nath and BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra met later on Wednesday evening and held talks concerning the same. According to sources, Congress’s data analytics department chief Praveen Chakravartty was called in to analyse the list of the 30 seats that the BSP are demanding. 

Earlier, Mayawati had announced 22 candidates for MP and dealt a blow to the Congress by tying up with Ajit Yogi for the Chattisgarh polls. 

Hours before the talks between Congress and the BSP, Mayawati accused the Congress of arrogance and said that there would be no alliance in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Hence the revied talks between the two parties came as a surprise to all.

Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi on Friday, Gandhi said that he was confident of a tie-up between the Congress and the BSP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

On being questioned about the allegations that the Congress has been hesitant to accommodate regional parties while forming alliances, Gandhi said, "I think in national elections, the parties will come together, particularly in Uttar Pradesh". 

"The alliance in the state and the centre is different. Mayawati ji has indicated that. We were pretty flexible. I was more flexible than the state leaders. We were in the midst of a conversation and I guess they decided to go alone," he added. 

Mayawati shutting the doors on an alliance with Congress is a big setback to the opposition's effort to put up a mahagathbandhan to take on the BJP in the upcoming state polls.