Congress to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP on its own
Congress to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP on its own

Lucknow: Left out of the SP-BSP pre-poll tie-up in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Sunday announced that it would go it alone on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the upcoming general election.

After a brainstorming session with senior party leaders, Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad, however, said his party would accommodate any secular force that was capable of taking on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha polls.

The meeting of the Congress was held a day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh, sharing 38 seats each and leaving two seats for the smaller parties, besides leaving Rae Bareli and Amethi for UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, respectively.

Speaking to reporters here, Azad expressed hope that the Grand Old Party would double the tally of 21 seats it had secured in the state in the 2009 general election. On his party being left out of the SP-BSP alliance, the Congress leader said, “We wanted that the Congress should have been a part of the Grand Alliance (against the BJP) in Uttar Pradesh. But if someone does not want to walk along, nothing can be done.”

Asked whether the Congress would field candidates in seats which will be contested by BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (since the SP-BSP alliance will not field nominees from Rae Bareli and Amethi), Azad did not give any clear answer. On the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the SP and the BSP, he said at the national level, the Congress would welcome all the secular regional parties.

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