Lok Sabha polls: After SP-BSP snub, Congress to go solo in UP?
New Delhi, Jan 8: Days after the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) gave contours of an electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi asserted that his party, which was ready to go solo, would not just do well but also "surprise" everyone.
The Congress has the ability to surprise people with results in UP, Rahul Gandhi said in an interview to Gulf News. "There are very interesting things that the Congress party can do in Uttar Pradesh... the Congress idea is very powerful for Uttar Pradesh. So, we are very confident of our ability in Uttar Pradesh and we will surprise people," he said.
The Congress chief's comments comes days after reports that the SP-BSP alliance may only give two seats to the Congress-Amethi and Raebareli, the Lok Sabha constituencies of Rahul Gandhi and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi.
Reports have suggested that the SP-BSP were not in favour of taking the Congress on board after their assessment that the latter's votes were largely non-transferable and may shift to rival parties rather than towards an alliance partner.
The two parties would, at best, leave just the Rae Bareli and Amethi seats for the Congress. The two seats are constituencies of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi, respectively.
Earlier, SP vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda had said his party, together with the BSP, is strong enough to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 and there is no need of an "insignificant" force like the Congress to make it happen.
"The SP-BSP alliance is the main force which will take on the BJP. The Congress might be there in one or two seats, it is for the Congress to decide what position it wishes to see itself in," Nanda had said.
The politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. In the last parliamentary elections in 2014, the BJP won 71 seats, Samajwadi Party got five while the BSP did not win any seat. The Congress registered wins on two seats.