Congress to go it alone in 80 UP Lok Sabha seats: Ghulam Nabi Azad

Updated: Jan 14, 2019, 11:37 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh says party hopeful of doubling the tally of 21 seats it secured in the 2009 general elections

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses a press meet as UP Congress Chief Raj Babbar looks on, in Lucknow. Pic/PTI
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses a press meet as UP Congress Chief Raj Babbar looks on, in Lucknow. Pic/PTI

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 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 United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi respectively.

Speaking to the media here, Azad said, "The Congress will contest on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and defeat the BJP." He also 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.

To a question on whether the Congress will forge a coalition with any other political party, Azad said, "If any party is willing to accompany the Congress and the Congress feels that it can fight the BJP, then it will definitely be accommodated." 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."

38
No. of seats SP, BSP are each sharing in state

13
No. of rallies Rahul would hold in UP

Opposition alliance opportunistic: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday derided Opposition efforts to cobble up a grand alliance against the BJP and pitched for his party's re-election in the upcoming parliamentary polls, saying these "opportunistic" alliance and "dynastic" parties "want to build their own empire while we want to empower people".

Kejriwal won't fight from Varanasi
The AAP said its convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will not be contesting from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections, but the party will field a strong candidate for the seat. "Kejriwal will not contest the LS polls, as he wants to give special attention to his state."

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