Cong says SP-BSP snub a boon, will contest all 80 seats in UP
Lucknow: A day after it was dumped by the SP-BSP alliance, Congress announced on Sunday it would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, while keeping doors open for “like-minded and secular forces” to take on BJP.
“Not being part of the alliance is good in a way. Had we been part of the gathbandhan, we would have contested on 20- odd seats. Now, we will contest all 80,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress general secretary and in-charge for UP, while dropping broad hints that the Ajit Singh-led RLD, which was also snubbed by the SPBSP combine, was welcome.
At the joint press conference on Saturday, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati had announced that no candidate of the gath- UP
CM Yogi Adityanath on Sunday tried to drive a wedge between SP and BSP by recalling their fractious past and highlighting the rift in the Yadav family. “In the last LS polls, Akhilesh wanted his father to be the PM. Who is he projecting this time as PM, Mulayam or Mayawati?” Yogi said. “It is not clear if Mulayamji would even get an SP ticket this time.” bandhan would be fielded in Rae Bareli and Amethi, the pocket boroughs of Congress’s Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, respectively. They had skirted any mention of RLD chief Ajit Singh, while leaving just two seats for other allies.
Azad said the decision to keep Congress out of the SPBSP alliance would have no impact on the party’s fight against BJP-RSS. “We are Dalit
outfit Bhim Army is supporting the SP-BSP combine in UP, according to its its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. “We will do hard work to stop BJP from coming to power in the 2019 elections,” Azad said on Sunday. “This alliance is a demand of the time. We will make this it stronger,” he said at a rally in Muzaffarnagar.
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competent, battle-ready and would campaign against divisive forces. We are ready to accommodate any secular party,” Azad said. He hinted that Congress was open to seatsharing with RLD, an estranged ally which contested with the grand old party in the 2014 LS polls. “We will welcome any party ready to join us against BJP,” Azad said in reply to a query on a tie-up with RLD.