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'They Have Underestimated Congress': Rahul Gandhi on UP Alliance Snub for LS Polls by SP and BSP

Rahul, on his maiden visit to the UAE, made it clear that neither he nor his party were consulted before the decision was made. But he said he wasn't "disappointed" over the same.

Arun Kumar Singh | News18 India

Updated:January 14, 2019, 9:51 AM IST

Dubai: Terming the decision of the SP and the BSP to keep the Congress out of their pre-poll alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha in UP a political one, Congress president Rahul Gandhi vowed that his party will fight for each Lok Sabha seat in the state with full zeal and energy. He also said that the two parties may have "underestimated" Congress's strength.

The alliance decided to contest 38 seats each in Uttar Pradesh, which is, according to them, expected to decide the fate of Narendra Modi in the General Election due in four months' time. The alliance has left two seats for the Congress party, the traditional Gandhi dynasty bastions of Rae Bareli and Amethi.

Rahul, on his maiden visit to the UAE, made it clear that neither he nor his party were consulted before the decision was made. But he said he wasn't "disappointed" over the same.

"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," Rahul told News18 in an interview.

Gandhi is slated to address 10 public meetings in Uttar Pradesh in February and is slated to make more frequent visits to the state in the run-up to the polls in a bid to boost the party's prospects.

He (Gandhi) will address 10 public meetings in the state in February," party leader PL Punia said. He said Rahul would be in the state "every third day" next month.

Rahul also said that the two parties in UP may have miscalculated and underestimated the Congress's strength.

"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," Rahul told News18.

Also Read: Gadkari, Swaraj, Jaitley Didn’t Want CBI Chief Removed; Why Was Only PM Issuing Orders At Midnight: Rahul

Explaining the reason behind the alliance, Yadav said both the parties will contest elections together to fight against the communal hatred spread by the BJP. "To defeat the arrogance of the BJP, it was necessary for the BSP and the SP to come together. The BJP can go to any extent to create differences in our workers, we must be united and counter any such tactic," Yadav said.

This would be the first time in 26 years that the SP and the BSP will fight the elections jointly. Last time, it happened in 1993, when SP veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party founder Kanshi Ram came together.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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