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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Snubbed by SP and BSP, Congress to contest all 80 seats LS seats in U.P.

The Congress blamed the SP-BSP alliance for not taking all secular parties together and said it would fight on its own to defeat the BJP.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2019 15:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and  U.P. Congress unit chief Raj Babbar at a press conference in Lucknow,
Senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and U.P. Congress unit chief Raj Babbar at a press conference in Lucknow, ((HT Photo by Deepak Gupta))

Stung by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) alliance that excluded the Congress, the grand old party today blamed the alliance for not taking all secular parties together and announced that it would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.

“We will fight on all 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh in upcoming Lok Sabha elections. We are fully prepared. And just like Congress emerged number 1 party in Uttar Pradesh in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, we’ll fight on our own and win twice those number of seats in upcoming elections,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad who is in charge of U.P. said at a press conference in Lucknow.

The Congress had won two seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections while the SP won five.

On Saturday, BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Singh Yadav announced their parties would contest 38 seats each and leave out two seats – Amethi and Rae Bareily - for the Congress. Mayawati said her party never gained from an alliance with the Congress and held it responsible for the plight of backward castes.

Referring to the Congress’ 2017 alliance with the SP for the U.P. assembly elections, Azad said, “We didn’t break this alliance, public should know that. We had earlier also said that we’re ready to walk with every party that wants to defeat BJP. But we can’t force anyone. They’ve (SP-BSP) closed this chapter, so we’ll continue this fight for defeating BJP on our own.”

Azad asked partymen to stop infighting and gear up for polls.

Hours after the SP and the BSP announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in Dubai his party would fight the elections in the state alone with its “full capacity”.

“BSP and SP have made a political decision. It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity,” he said at a press conference.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 14:48 IST