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Congress Changes Poll Strategy in UP, Welcomes 'Turncoat' Candidates

According to sources, the party has now decided to focus on the 'winability' of its own candidates rather than giving more space to the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in order to defeat the BJP in the state.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | CNN-News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:March 5, 2019, 2:41 PM IST
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Congress Changes Poll Strategy in UP, Welcomes 'Turncoat' Candidates
File photo of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. (PTI)
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Lucknow: It seems like the Congress is changing its election strategy for Uttar Pradesh ahead of Lok Sabha the polls as 'turncoat' candidates are now being welcomed by the party.

According to sources, the party has now decided to focus on the 'winability' of its own candidates rather than giving more space to the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance in order to defeat the BJP in the state.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on his recent visit to Lucknow had stated that the party will not play on its back foot and will contest the elections with its full might.

The party is also open to defecting members of other parties including the BJP, sources have revealed. The parachute entry of big names from other parties, considered as 'outsiders', has become a big cause of worry among the Congress cadre in the state.

Recently, BJP MP from Bahraich, Savitri Bai Phule, former MP Qaiser Jahan, Rakesh Sachan, Avatar Singh Badhana and Ram Lal Rahi joined Congress.

And its not just the 'turncoats', but some senior leaders who had won in the past, especially in the 2009 Lok Sabha Polls have also been signalled to start work on the ground in their respective constituencies. The names include Jitin Prasad, RPN Singh, Anu Tandon, Nirmal Khatri, Pradeep Jain Aditya, PL Punia, Sri Prakash Jaiswal, Raj Babbar and others.

Sources also suggest that the Congress is planning to contest on 60 to 65 seats in Uttar Pradesh while the rest will be left to accommodate allies and small parties.

Till now, only the Mahaan Dal has forged a pre-poll alliance with the Congress, however, the Peace Party is also likely to join the bandwagon soon.

Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party are also said to be in negotiations with the Congress and an alliance could be announced.

| Edited by: Angana Chakrabarti
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