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Congress to fight all 80 seats in UP alone, says SP-BSP "closed the chapter"

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Lucknow, Jan 13: A day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) snubbed the Congress, and forged a pre-poll alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party on Sunday said it would fight on all the 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that they were always open for talks on the alliance, but, he added, "they (SP-BSP) closed this chapter".

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad

BSP chief Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Singh Yadav yesterday announced that their parties would contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections and leave out two seats - Amethi and Rae Bareily - for the Congress.

"We will fight on all 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. We are fully prepared. And just like Congress emerged the number 1 party in Uttar Pradesh in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, we'll fight on our own and win twice the number of seats in the upcoming elections," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a press conference in Lucknow.

Azad said, "We didn't break this alliance", while responding to a question on Congress' alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the 2017 UP assembly elections.

[SP-BSP alliance: Strategically a good move but it will face these 5 challenges as well]

"We didn't break this alliance, people should know that. We had said earlier too that we're ready to walk with every party that wants to defeat the 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 added.

[Shivpal Yadav dubs SP-BSP tie up 'alliance of thugs', may support Congress]

Politically, Uttar Pradesh is a significant state as it sends maximum number of MPs to Parliament. In 2014 general elections, the BJP had won 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress had won two seats while SP won five. The BSP drew a blank.

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