Con­gress to con­test all 80 LS seats in UP on its own Grand Old Party un­fazed over SP-BSP al­liance in key state

Millennium Post - - Front Page -

LUC­KNOW: Left out of the SP-BSP pre-poll tie-up in Ut­tar Pradesh, the Con­gress on Sun­day an­nounced that it would go it alone on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the up­com­ing gen­eral elec­tion.

Af­ter a brain­storm­ing ses­sion with se­nior party lead­ers, Con­gress gen­eral sec­re­tary in-charge of Ut­tar Pradesh Ghu­lam Nabi Azad, how­ever, said his party would ac­com­mo­date any sec­u­lar force that was ca­pa­ble of tak­ing on the rul­ing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha polls.

The meet­ing of the Con­gress was held a day af­ter the Sa­ma­jwadi Party (SP) and the Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party (BSP) an­nounced their al­liance in Ut­tar Pradesh, shar­ing 38 seats each and leav­ing two seats for the smaller par­ties, be­sides leav­ing Rae Bareli and Ame­thi for United Pro­gres­sive Al­liance (UPA) chair­per­son So­nia Gandhi and Con­gress chief Rahul Gandhi re­spec­tively.

Speak­ing to re­porters here, Azad said, “The Con­gress will con­test on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Ut­tar Pradesh and de­feat the BJP.”

He also ex­pressed hope that the Grand Old Party would dou­ble the tally of 21 seats it had se­cured in the state in the 2009 gen­eral elec­tion.

To a ques­tion on whether the Con­gress will forge a coali­tion with any other po­lit­i­cal party, Azad said, “If any party is will­ing to ac­com­pany the Con­gress and the Con­gress feels that it can fight the BJP, then it will be ac­com­mo­dated.”

On his party be­ing left out of the SP-BSP al­liance, the Con­gress leader said, “We wanted that the Con­gress should have been a part of the Grand Al­liance (against the BJP) in Ut­tar Pradesh. But if some­one does not want to walk along, noth­ing can be done.”

Asked whether the Con­gress would field can­di­dates in seats which will be con­tested by BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Ya­dav (since the SP-BSP al­liance will not field nom­i­nees from Rae Bareli and Ame­thi), Azad did not give any clear an­swer. On the pos­si­bil­ity of a post-poll al­liance with the SP and the BSP, he said at the na­tional level; the Con­gress would wel­come all the sec­u­lar re­gional par­ties.

Re­ply­ing to an­other ques­tion on the SP-BSP tie-up, Azad said, “The Con­gress work­ers are not at all dis­ap­pointed on be­ing left out of the al­liance. On the con­trary, they are say­ing the party would have had to con­test on 25 seats, but now it would be con­test­ing on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi will hold at least 13 ral­lies in Ut­tar Pradesh.”

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