Samajwadi Party Supremo Akhilesh Yadav attacks INDIA coalition ally - Congress, a crack in opposition unity?

Samajwadi Party's (SP) relations with the leading and largest INDIA bloc party - Congress, took a hit on Sunday as Samajwadi Party Supremo Akhilesh Yadav recalled the PDA alliance and signaled to opt out from the United Opposition-led INDIA coalition. Yadav shared a photo on X (formerly Twitter) of an SP worker whose back is painted in the party's red and green trademark and carries a message in Hindi.

"Mission 2024. May Netaji (late Mulayam Singh Yadav) remain immortal. 'PDA' will ensure Akhilesh Yadav wins the election this time. Akhilesh Yadav will ensure the poor get justice," the message on the back of the SP worker read.Yadav shared the photo with the caption, "The 2024 polls will be the PDA's revolution."

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The 'PDA' translates to 'Pichada (backward), Dalits and Alpasankhyaks (minorities),' and the SP supremo has reiterated that his party's strategy is to focus on them and that the PDA will defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

The relationship between the SP and the Congress party has been weakened. Akhilesh Yadav is dissatisfied with the failure to achieve a seat-sharing strategy for next month's Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. The SP hoped to strike up an alliance to topple the ruling BJP government in the state of Madhya Pradesh. However, nothing of that sort has happened, and now, Yadav has deemed it a "betrayal" and has been attacking his INDIA coalition ally - Congress publicly.

The continuing tension between the SP and Congress poses skepticism regarding the INDIA bloc's future, months before the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Samajwadi Party and Congress are both the leading and one of the biggest parties of the INDIA bloc. Suppose the relations between both parties continue to become worse. In that case, there is a high possibility that the SP can move out of the INDIA coalition and can fight the 2024 elections alone or by tieing up Shri Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which directly makes up the PDA alliance like 2019, which about Akhilesh Yadav signaled.

If the SP and BSP tie up, it will retain the old PDA Alliance, i.e., it would bring together the votes of Backward, SC/ST, and Minorities as the SP's leading vote bank comprises Backward and Minorities. BSP's vote bank includes mainly Dalits (SC/STs) vote bank. If SP parts its way from the INDIA coalition, it may benefit by making a PDA alliance with BSP. However, it would be a major blowback to the United Opposition-led INDIA coalition and its efforts to defeat BJP in 2024.

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