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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Snubbed by SP and BSP, Congress to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh

Stung by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh that excluded the Congress, the grand old party announced today that it would contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Jan 13, 2019 18:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (left) said it was Samajwadi Party that broke the alliance with it. Both parties had tied up before the 2017 UP assembly elections.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (left) said it was Samajwadi Party that broke the alliance with it. Both parties had tied up before the 2017 UP assembly elections.(Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
         

Stung by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) alliance in Uttar Pradesh 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 the state.

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

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

Watch: Congress says will fight from 80 seats of UP in 2019 elections

On Saturday, BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Singh Yadav announced that their parties would contest 38 seats each and leave out two seats — Amethi and Rae Bareily — for the Congress. The remaining two seats would be left for other allies. 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 UP assembly elections, Azad said, “We didn’t break this alliance, people should know that. We had said earlier too that we’re ready to walk with every party that wants to defeat the 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 BSP announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in Dubai that his party would fight the elections in the state alone with its “full capacity”. “BSP and SP made a political decision. It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity,” he said at a press conference.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 15:01 IST

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