A discordant relationship with Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is forcing the Congress to hunt for "friends, instead of votes" in next month's assembly polls in politically significant Uttar Pradesh, Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley said on Sunday.
Jaitley told reporters here that his party, which had weakened in Uttar Pradesh during the last polls, was looking at making "significant improvement".
"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) coalition is troubled particularly because of its partner from West Bengal. The Congress is a weak force. The Congress is contesting in Uttar Pradesh with the intention of searching newer friends instead of votes," Jailey said, hinting that the Congress was looking for a new ally to counter the "whims" of the Mamata-headed Trinamool.
Jaitley, who was in Goa to kick off an election-related padayatra ahead of the March 3 polls here, also said that the Congress was pursuing a divisive agenda for electoral benefit, but added that instead of benefit, it would wipe the party's fortunes.
Commenting on the party's strategy for the Uttar Pradesh polls, he said: "The last elections showed us weakened in UP and therefore we are contesting in all seats by ourselves and are hoping to make significant improvement".
Polling to elect a new government in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly will take place in several phases from February to March.