India: UP: Congress, left out of SP-BSP tie-up, to contest all 80 seats

  • A day after it was virtually left out being part of an anti-BJP alliance formed by the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress on 13 Jan 19 declared it will contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats from the state on its own.
  • However, the grand old party of India has kept the doors of a possible alliance open saying if any secular party which is competent to fight the BJP and willing to go with it (Congress), then it will be accommodated.
  • Party general secretary and UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The Congress will contest on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, and defeat the BJP.”
  • Azad also expressed hope that the Congress will double its tally of seats, which it had secured in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. During the parliamentary elections, the Congress had bagged 21 seats in the politically crucial state.
  • On the post-poll alliance with the SP and BSP, Azad said that at the national level, the Congress welcomes all the secular regional parties.
  • The party believes that it has a good chance of winning 25-odd seats and it would like to focus on those seats alone, sources within the Congress told ET.
  • As for the rest of the seats, the Congress is willing to engage in a friendly fight with the BSP-SP alliance; it may put up some candidates after consulting the BSP and SP so that it can help them win. The party may not campaign aggressively on those seats.
  • “The idea is not to divide the anti-BJP votes and if an SP or BSP candidate is in a good position, they should win,” said the Congress leader.
  • Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party on 12 Jan 19 announced their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each and keeping the Congress out of the alliance, as the two parties have an eye on half the vote share in UP through a consolidation of SC, Yadav and Muslim voters.
  • The parties, however, said they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi respectively.
  • They also left two seats out of the 80 in the state for smaller allies, without naming them. But there have been talks with the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
  • Explaining why the Congress was not included in the alliance, Mayawati said during its rule, poverty, unemployment and corruption grew and there were scams in defence deals.
  • The alliance is expected to pose a tough challenge to the BJP which had got 73 of the 80 seats in an alliance with Apna Dal in UP in 2014, which paved the way for Narendra Modi to become the Prime Minister with a clear majority.
  • In 2014, BJP got 42% vote share in UP while SP stopped short at 22% of the votes to win five seats and BSP has failed to win any seats despite getting nearly 20% of the votes.
  • Mayawati is expected to position herself nationally now as a pivot for an anti-BJP alliance, with Akhilesh Yadav supporting her case for a national role, sources said. Yadav laid out a case for an SP government in the state on 11 Jan 19, indicating that he was interested only in the CM’s role.
  • If the voting pattern remains the same as in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the SP-BSP ‘gathbandhan’ may cut BJP’s tally to half, a data-crunching of results by TOI shows.
  • However, had Congress been included in the alliance, the maha-gatbandhan could have dominated two-third of 80 Lok Sabha seats.
  • Political pundits, however, said election results cannot be predicted on the basis of math. The outcome largely depends on issues on which people vote. In 2014, there was strong anti-incumbency against the Congress-led UPA government and people voted for change and a stable government under one party.

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/congress-to-contest-all-80-seats-from-uttar-pradesh/articleshow/67511360.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/bsp-sp-formally-announce-alliance-this-will-lead-a-new-revolution-in-the-country-says-mayawati/articleshow/67498985.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/congress-plans-to-focus-on-25-lok-sabha-seats-in-up/articleshow/67496749.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/mayawati-akhilesh-yadav-to-announce-sp-bsp-alliance-tomorrow-congress-out-of-alliance/articleshow/67481627.cms

13-Jan-2019


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