Congress eyes smaller outfits, SP, BSP rebels in UP

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his party could spare seats for 'like-minded secular outfits' and individuals to counter the BJP in the LS polls. (PTI Photo)

Snubbed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has set its eyes on the rebels within the two parties and plans to offer them party nominations in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Besides, the grand old party, which faces an uphill task given almost a complete absence of organisational base in the state, was also trying to explore the possibilities of allying with some smaller caste-based outfits.

The party was already in talks with the rebel SP leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, who has formed Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) after leaving his parent party following differences with SP president Akhilesh Yadav.

‘’We are ready to have an alliance with Congress…..our main objective is to defeat the BJP,’’ Shivpal said.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his party could spare seats for 'like-minded secular outfits' and individuals to counter the BJP in the LS polls.

According to the sources in the Congress, the party was trying to woo the Krishna Patel faction of Apna Dal (AD), Peace Party, which had pockets of influence in around half a dozen districts in the eastern region of the state.

Similarly, the party was also trying to have some kind of understanding with ‘Mahan Dal’, an OBC outfit having influence in some western UP districts. The Mahan Dal had secured 0.11 % votes 2017 assembly polls.

Outspoken UP minister and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, who has been spewing venom against BJP, was also on the list of the Congress, sources said.

State Congress leaders said that they were expecting ‘’desertions’’ in the SP-BSP ranks as many of its senior leaders were certain to be left out following the alliance between the two parties. ‘’Since both SP and BSP will be contesting 38 seats each, many of their leaders will find themselves out of the electoral arena,’’ said a senior UP Congress leader.

In fact murmurs of dissent have already started in the SP over the alliance. ‘’Akhilesh Yadav should not have allied with Mayawati….we will have no presence on more than half of the LS seats in the state….it will damage the party politically,’’ said senior SP leader and MLA from Ferozabad Hariom Yadav.

Yadav claimed that there were many other SP leaders, who were not ‘’happy’’ with the alliance and were looking for alternative options.

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Congress eyes smaller outfits, SP, BSP rebels in UP

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