A day after the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party announced their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, senior Congress leaders on Sunday held a brainstorming meeting at the party's state headquarters here to discuss future course of action. The Congress, which has been left out of the alliance in the state, might go it alone in the Lok Sabha elections but may choose not to field candidates on a few seats, a senior party leader said.
According to party sources, Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad and UP Congress chief Raj Babbar held a close-door meeting with senior leaders.
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Speaking to the media, Azad on Sunday said the Congress party will contest all 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh in upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The party will accommodate any secular partied competent to fight the BJP, he added.
“If any secular party competent to fight the BJP, willing to go with us, we will accommodate them,” the Congress general secretary said.
Talking about the party strategy, Azad said, "We are fully prepared, just like Congress emerged number 1 party in Uttar Pradesh in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, we'll fight on our own and will win twice those number of seats in upcoming elections."
The Congress general secretary further said, "We didn't break this alliance, public should know that."
"We had earlier also said that we're ready to walk with every party that wants to defeat BJP. But we can't force anyone. They've (SP-BSP) closed this chapter, so we'll continue this fight for defeating BJP on our own," he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Azad had said the Congress party will not react immediately on the SP-BSP alliance and would come out with a detailed reaction in Lucknow
A meeting would be held with leaders and workers of the party from central and eastern Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, he had said.
While announcing the SP-BSP alliance Saturday, BSP chief Mayawati had said they would not contest from Amethi (currently held by party chief Rahul Gandhi) and Rae Bareli (held by Sonia Gandhi) seats.
The Rahul Gandhi-led party on Friday had said it was ready to go alone in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections.
"We are a political party and are ready to fight the coming elections alone in Uttar Pradesh," Congress media coordinator Rajiv Bakshi had said.
"We alone have 45 seats in the Lok Sabha and it is any day many more than the regional players... A 'mahagathbandhan' in the Lok Sabha elections needs to be built around the party having a national face," Bakshi had said.
"We are ready to take along like-minded parties and they can come together with us," he had added.