In Amethi, Rahul Gandhi has a message of ‘cooperation’ for Mayawati, Akhilesh
Despite insisting about going it alone in Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi also appeared conciliatory towards the SP and BSP.
Edged out of an alliance by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the grand-old-party “will cooperate with each other” in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“We will cooperate with each other wherever needed...They can come and talk to us. All three of us, the Congress, the SP and the BSP want to defeat the BJP,” the Congress chief said.
Rahul Gandhi said, “See, I have already said we respect both Mayawatiji (the BSP chief) and Akhileshji (the SP president). Mayawatiji and Akhileshji formed their alliance. Our objective is to defeat the BJP. We have no enmity. We have love. We have lots of similarties in ideology and we are fighting the BJP.”
“If they want to talk to us, we have no issues,” Rahul Gandhi said adding there is still a room for the Congress to cooperate with the SP and the BSP which had announced their seat-sharing arrangement earlier. The two parties will contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections. They decided not to field any candidate at Amethi and Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chairperson.
Rahul Gandhi visited Amethis on a day when he appointed his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as the Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, a politically significant region for the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi falls in this region.
Asked about the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi and senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia as the party’s incharge for UP East and UP West respectively, Rahul Gandhi said, “We have to fight for the Congress’s ideology and we will fight with our full might in Uttar Pradesh.”
“We will play on front foot and fight with full strength. We will not play on back foot,” he told reporters at Amethi. The Congress had won only two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 elections when it had tied up with the SP.