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In War Mode After SP-BSP Snub, Rahul Gandhi to Hold 13 Rallies in Uttar Pradesh

The Congress chief will hold his first rally in Lucknow in the first week of February. One rally will also be held in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:January 14, 2019, 6:24 PM IST
In War Mode After SP-BSP Snub, Rahul Gandhi to Hold 13 Rallies in Uttar Pradesh
File photo Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: PTI)

Lucknow: After vowing that his party will fight for each Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh with full zeal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has decided to hold 13 rallies in 13 different zones in the state.

The announcement comes a day after Congress was left out of an anti-BJP alliance formed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Terming the decision of the SP and BSP to keep Congress out of their pre-poll alliance a ‘dangerous mistake’, the grand old party said it will contest solo on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Gandhi’s first rally will be held in Lucknow in the first week of February. Later, one rally will be held in Varanasi, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, during a crucial meeting with UPCC leaders in Lucknow on Sunday, said that venues of rallies are yet to be finalized.

While the party has decided to go solo, it has also kept the doors of a possible alliance open, saying any “secular party which is competent to fight the BJP” is welcome to come forward.

Earlier, speaking exclusively to News18, Rahul Gandhi had said that SP-BSP have underestimated Congress’s strength in Uttar Pradesh by keep it out of their pre-poll alliance for the general elections. “I could be wrong, but I think Mayawati and Mulayam Singh may have underestimated the Congress party. They haven't fully appreciated the value of the Congress party. Will see what happens now,” he had said.

“It was a political decision and we respect it. I respect Mayawati ji and I also respect Akhilesh and Mulayam Singh Yadav ji. But now even the Congress will have to do its work and we will fight with full zeal and vigour. The Congress won't back down and will fight with all its might,” Gandhi had said during the interview.

Meanwhile, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have decided to contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh. The alliance has left two seats for the Congress party, the traditional Gandhi dynasty bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi.

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