Priyanka says Cong hurting BJP in UP, helping alliance

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra greets supporters during the election campaign for Lok Sabha polls in Raebareli. PTI photo

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday said that her party, which was going solo in the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh, was not hurting the electoral prospects of the 'grand alliance' in the state.

''We have given strong candidates on seats, where we are strong....on other places, we have nominated candidates, who will eat into the votes of the BJP thereby helping the grand alliance,'' Priyanka told reporters in Amethi, the LS constituency of her brother and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

''BJP will suffer a shock in UP....it will suffer a humiliating defeat,'' she claimed.

Speculations about a ''tacit'' understanding between the Congress and the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh were in the air in the political circles here.

Candidate selection of the Congress also lent credence to the speculations. 

To begin with, the grand old party did not field its candidates on five LS seats against Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president Ajeet Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary on Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat seats respectively, Akhilesh Yadav in Azamgarh, Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri and Akshoy Yadav in Ferozabad.

On many other seats the Congress' candidates were expected to eat into the votes of the BJP nominees thereby benefitting the alliance indirectly.

UP Congress leaders have been saying that the party was ''focussing'' only on seats, where its candidates are in a better position and can win the battle.

Congress sources said that the party had identified around 10 to 15 seats on which it was concentrating. These seats included Saharanpur, Bijnore, Kushinagar, Kanpur, Akbarpur, Pratapgarh, Dhaurahara, Moradabad and some others besides Amethi and Raebareli.

''It certainly appears that Congress does not want to hit the alliance....it is trying to hurt the BJP and is only focussing on the seats, where it has a chance,'' says Guruvachan Singh Azad, a Meerut based scribe.

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