As SP, BSP tie up, Cong to go it alone in all 80 seats in UP
LS POLLS Mayawati, Akhilesh closed chapter, says Cong
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.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad (L) and Raj Babbar addressing a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday.