Congress to go solo in Uttar Pradesh for polls: Jyotiraditya Scindia (File Photo)
Days after releasing its first list of 15 candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha Elections 2019, the Congress on Saturday announced that the party will go solo in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. The declaration was made by AICC General Secretary in-charge (Uttar Pradesh-West) Jyotiraditya Scindia at a media briefing in the national capital this morning, according to sources. The announcement has put an end to the speculations that the Congress is likely to join the SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming General Elections 2019 due by May.
Speaking to media, Scindia said, "Our aim is to form the UPA government at the Centre. Congress is going to contest elections on its own in Uttar Pradesh. We are going to establish Congress firmly in the state". "If SP-BSP has left 2 seats for us, then we are ready to leave 2-3 seats for them," the newly appointed Congress General Secretary added.
"We respect the decision of the BSP-SP alliance. They chose their own path. The path is different but the goal is one. Dialogue is necessary but it happens from both sides. They should also think about the dialogue. Parties having similar ideologies should think in a similar way," he went on to claim further.
On Thursday, the Congress announced 11 candidates for the electorally crucial state. Apart from party president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Salman Khurshid is among other big names in the list. Khurshid, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Jitin Prasad and RPN Singh have been fielded from their traditional seats of Rae Bareli, Farrukhabad, Dhaurahra and Kushi Nagar respectively.
Rajaram Pal (Akbarpur), Brij Lal Khabri (Jalaun-SC), Nirmal Khatri (Faizabad), Imran Masood (Saharanpur), Saleem Iqbal Shervani (Badaun) and Annu Tandon (Unnao) are the other candidates who will contest the elections from the state.
Uttar Pradesh has a total of 80 Lok Sabha seats out of which the Congress had won just two (Amethi and Raebareli) in 2014. This is the sixth time Sonia Gandhi is contesting Lok Sabha polls while for junior Gandhi it is fourth.
Earlier in February, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) Akhilesh Yadav had jointly announced a seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha Elections in Uttar Pradesh. While the SP will contest 37 seats, the BSP will fill candidates from 38 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. However, the two parties have left the Amethi and Rae Bareli seats for the Congress and three seats for the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The Ajit Singh-led RLD will contest from Mathura, Baghpat and Muzaffarnagar.