Con­gress plans to con­test all 80 seats in UP

Ready to ac­com­mo­date any sec­u­lar force that can take on BJP: Azad

The Asian Age - - Front Page -

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

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