New Delhi: Left out of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is likely to contest the Lok Sabha polls on its own in the crucial Hindi heartland state, sources said.
The Congress leadership maintained a stoic silence and refused to comment on being left out of the alliance of regional rivals Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the high-stakes general election, which is only months away.
Asked to comment on the tie-up announced by BSP chief Mayawati and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party would not react immediately and would come out with a detailed reaction in Lucknow on Sunday. Azad earlier met Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and former MP Pramod Tiwari at his residence.
Azad and Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders have been meeting leaders from the western parts of the state for the past two days. The veteran leader said he, along with other leaders, would be meeting the leaders and workers of the party from central and eastern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
“We heard the press conference of the BSP and SP leaders. The party will come out with its stand in Lucknow on Sunday,” Azad merely said, while refusing to react on the Congress being left out of the alliance. He said the party would not react on the announcement on Saturday and any leader commenting on the issue would be putting forth his personal view.
Asked whether the tie-up was a setback for the Congress, he refused to comment.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath said there was a need for alliances in the entire country to defeat the BJP. He also said the saffron party got only 31 per cent votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and claimed that it had the people’s mandate, adding that even this happened because votes were split. However, party insiders felt that the SP-BSP tie-up was a blow to the Congress’s efforts to unite all the opposition parties.