As SP, BSP tie up, Cong to go it alone in all 80 seats in UP

LS POLLS Mayawati, Akhilesh closed chap­ter, says Cong

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Stung by the Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) and Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party’s (BSP) al­liance in Ut­tar Pradesh that ex­cluded the Con­gress, the grand old party on Sun­day said it would go it alone in all the 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Blam­ing the SP-BSP al­liance for not tak­ing all sec­u­lar par­ties to­gether, Con­gress gen­eral sec­re­tary in-charge of Ut­tar Pradesh Ghu­lam Nabi Azad said his party would ac­com­mo­date any sec­u­lar force that was ca­pa­ble of tak­ing on the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the gen­eral elec­tion.

“We will fight on all 80 seats of Ut­tar Pradesh in the up­com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tions. We are fully pre­pared. And just like how the Con­gress emerged the num­ber 1 party in Ut­tar Pradesh in the 2009 Lok Sabha elec­tions, we’ll fight on our own and win twice the num­ber of seats in the polls,” Azad said at a press con­fer­ence in Lucknow.

“If any party is will­ing to ac­com­pany the Con­gress and the Con­gress feels that it can fight the BJP, then it will def­i­nitely be ac­com­mo­dated,” he added.

On the pos­si­bil­ity of a post-poll al­liance with the SP and the BSP, Azad said at the na­tional level, the Con­gress would wel­come all the sec­u­lar re­gional par­ties.

The Con­gress had won two seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elec­tions, while the SP won five and the BSP drew a blank.

On Satur­day, BSP chief Mayawati and SP pres­i­dent Akhilesh Singh Ya­dav an­nounced that their par­ties would con­test 38 seats each and leave out two seats — Ame­thi and Rae Bareily — for the Con­gress. The re­main­ing two seats would be left for other al­lies. Mayawati said her party never gained from an al­liance with the Con­gress and held it re­spon­si­ble for the plight of back­ward castes.

Re­fer­ring to the Con­gress’s 2017 al­liance with the SP for the UP assem­bly elec­tions, Azad said, “We didn’t break this al­liance, peo­ple should know that. We had said ear­lier too that we’re ready to walk with ev­ery party that wants to de­feat the BJP. But we can’t force any­one. They’ve [SP and BSP] closed this chap­ter, so we’ll con­tinue this fight for de­feat­ing the BJP on our own.”

Azad asked par­ty­men to stop in­fight­ing and gear up for polls.

The Con­gress leader ac­cused the BJP of di­vid­ing the coun­try for power and claimed that the saf­fron party had failed to ful­fil any of its poll prom­ises.

PTI

Con­gress lead­ers Ghu­lam Nabi Azad (L) and Raj Bab­bar ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Lucknow on Sun­day.

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