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'96 Cong-BSP tie-up a mistake: Rahul

Rahul Gandhi says Congress' alliance with BSP in 1996 was a mistake and that mistake will not be repeated.

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Updated:March 19, 2007, 4:56 PM IST
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'96 Cong-BSP tie-up a mistake: Rahul
Rahul Gandhi says Congress' alliance with BSP in 1996 was a mistake and that mistake will not be repeated.

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi finally spoke politics in UP on the second day of his roadshow on Monday, saying that the Congress' alliance with the BSP in 1996 was a mistake and that mistake will not be repeated.

"The 1996 alliance was a sell-out and a blanket one," he said, on his way to Muzaffarnagar on the second day of his three-day whistle-stop tour of Western UP. Speaking to journalists, he said the alliance would never have gone through if the Gandhi family had been in charge.

He termed the alliance as a "sellout" and claimed there would be no more ''blanket alliances'' like this one in the future. ''There would be future alliances with other regional parties, but not as the one we had in 1996,'' he said.

The Amethi MP, however, admitted that the Congress was in discussion with Ajit Singh's RLD and VP Singh's Jan Morcha for electoral alliances in the upcoming UP elections.

In an apparent bid to reach out to the Muslim voter, he said had his father Rajiv Gandhi been alive, the Babri Masjid would not have been demolished.

"My father (late Rajiv Gandhi) had told my mother, (Congress President Sonia Gandhi) that he would have stood in front of the Babri Masjid to stop the demolition," Rahul said.

''Late Rajiv Gandhi had told Ms Gandhi, 'They would have had to kill me before razing the structure'," Rahul said.

Claiming that the late prime minister PV Narasimha Rao was responsible for the razing of Babri Masjid in 1992, he said: "Babri Masjid would not have happened had any Gandhi family member been there."

He said the Congress downfall in UP in 1996 was due to an organisational problem and the BJP, BSP and other regional parties were not responsible for its poor position in the state.

"UP will not remain like this where people are mostly poor after the Congress comes to power," he claimed.

On the caste issue which played an important role in UP, he said, "Though caste in everything in the state, we will try to build young leaders irrespective of their religion, here as well as everywhere else."

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