The 2019 Lok Sabha elections will witness a neck-to-neck fight between PM Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and a face-less Opposition front, the sources said on Friday.
Yes! giving a further booster to the earlier speculations, the sources confirmed that the Congress, SP and BSP have agreed for a strategic alliance in Uttar Pradesh to take on the ruling BJP government.
Earlier, speculations was rife that a broad agreement had been worked out among the Congress, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to weed out the BJP-led government from Uttar Pradesh.
However, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was earlier not too kin to join hands with the Congress, keeping in mind their poor track record in Uttar Pradesh. Rather he was more interested to seek an alliance with Dalit leader Mayawati's BSP.
But now with sources confirming that all the three parties have given their nod to the Grand Alliance, the key question arises is that on what seat sharing arrangement they agreed upon. The seat-sharing arrangements among the coalition parties is yet to be decided, the report said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, however, will fight the upcoming general elections from Uttar Pradesh's Amethi, a stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi political clan, the sources added.
In an even bigger twist, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra may replace her mother, and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, as the Congress candidate in Rae Bareilly. It has been over a decade that Priyanka's political debute has been a matter of speculations in the Congress circle.
While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will continue to fight from Amethi for the fourth consecutive time, the party is yet to decide whether Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka will fight elections from Rae Bareilly, the sources said.
The Gandhi clan, however, will not ally with Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena as their ideologies are different. The party has also decided to not announce the chief ministerial candidates for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, all of which head to Assembly elections by the end of 2018.
The prime ministerial candidate for the Opposition will be decided collectively by all coalition parties post 2019 election results, the sources added.