Congress plans to contest all 80 seats in UP
Ready to accommodate any secular force that can take on BJP: Azad
Lucknow, Jan. 13: Left out of the SP- BSP pre- poll tie- up in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Sunday announced it would go it alone on all 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 UP Ghulam Nabi Azad, however, said his party would accommodate any secular force capable of taking on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha election.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath claimed the recently forged alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party will have no impact on the state’s politics and the BJP will “effectively wipe them off”.
Speaking at a programme here, Yogi Adityanath said the SPBSP alliance denoted
◗ SP- BSP alliance denoted ‘ casteist mentality’ and ‘ anarchic elements,’ says Yogi Adityanath
“casteist mentality” and “anarchic elements”.
“The alliance means giving power to people who are corrupt, anarchic elements and have casteist mentality. This alliance will have no impact on the politics of the state.
“It is good that both these parties have come together. It will help us effectively wipe them off,” he asserted. The priest- turned- politician also went on to say, “Why are SP and BSP different parties? They should be merged”.
Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, an ally of the ruling BJP, appeared to differ with Adityanath’s assessment. It said the SP- BSP ■
■ Continued from Page 1 alliance will put up a strong fight in Lok Sabha elections. “The country is witnessing an era of coalition, and no party has the courage to go to the polls alone. The SP- BSP alliance is a strong alliance and it will put up a strong contest in the elections,” UP Cabinet minister and SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar told reporters Saturday.
Replying to another query on whether his party will go with the SP- BSP alliance, Rajbhar said there was “no truth” in such rumours. Taking a jibe at BJP, he said, “The BJP feels there is a saffron wave across the state. The BJP is having the galatfahmi ( wrong perception) that more than 60 per cent of people are supporting it.”
He said the party did see the result of this wrong perception during the Lok Sabha bypolls when it lost the Gorakhpur, Phoolpur and Kairana, and Noorpur assembly seat.
In another development, Shivpal Yadav, chief of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party ( Lohia) told reporters here, “When Netaji ( Mulayam Singh Yadav) had forged an alliance ( with BSP), there was no fear of CBI. Today there is a fear of CBI, and it is because of CBI that the alliance is taking place. This alliance will not prove to be successful.”
Shivpal also said his talks for Lok Sabha elections are going on with various parties including the Congress. Sunday’s meeting of the Congress was held a day after SP and BSP announced their alliance in UP, sharing 38 seats each and leaving two seats for smaller parties. They also left Rae Bareli and Amethi seats for UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress Rahul Gandhi respectively.
Speaking to reporters here, Azad said, “The Congress will contest on all 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP and defeat BJP.” He expressed hope that the Grand Old Party would double the tally of 21 seats it had won in the state in the 2009 general election.
Asked whether the Congress will forge a coalition with any other 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 definitely be accommodated.”
On his party being left out of the SP- BSP alliance, he said, “We wanted that the Congress should have been a part of the Grand Alliance ( against the BJP) in UP. But if someone does not want to walk along, nothing can be done.”
Asked whether the Congress would field candidates on seats which will be contested by Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav ( since the SP- BSP alliance will not field nominees from Rae Bareli and Amethi), Mr 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 secular regional parties.
To another question on the SP- BSP tie- up, Azad said, “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 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Congress president Rahul Gandhi will hold at least 13 rallies in UP.” chief