Arun Jaitley says Priyanka Gandhi’s UP remark an admission that Congress now a fringe organisation

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Updated: May 2, 2019 3:44:23 PM

Surveys and pre-poll estimates suggest that by going solo on all seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress could end up dividing the anti-BJP vote in the state and hurt the chances of the SP-BSP while benefitting the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Congress becomes a fringe party, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Image: BJP Twitter)Congress becomes a fringe party, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (Image: BJP Twitter)

Finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit out at the Congress and claimed that the Rahul Gandhi-led party has lost its ground and been reduced to a fringe party. Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, the FM said, “The grand old party of the Indian politics is now a fringe organization. It’s not only in size but also in numbers also.” Jaitley further said that the remarks made by Congress leader about vote cutting show that it is a confessional statement of the grand old party. On Wednesday, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said that the party has fielded candidates with a motive to either win or to damage the BJP’s chances of victory. She said that Congress has chosen its candidate very carefully and clarified that the grand old party will not cut votes of the ‘UP gathbandhan.’

In Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have forged an alliance but kept the Congress out of the seat sharing agreement. Priyanka’s suggestion that the party’s candidates would end up cutting votes for the BJP, implying that it would help the SP-BSP-RLD alliance win, has upset Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati equally. Hitting out Priyanka, the leaders unequivocally denied the Congress leader’s statements and said that it was the Congress which was acting in collusion with the BJP to scuttle the chances of the alliance.

Surveys and pre-poll estimates suggest that by going solo on all seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress could end up dividing the anti-BJP vote in the state and hurt the chances of the SP-BSP while benefitting the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In his address to the media today, the finance minister added that during the reign of late Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, the Congress had more than 300 MPs. “Post Indira Gandhi’s death, the party has over 400 MPs but Rajiv Gandhi made Congress a party of 150 MPs except 2009,” Jaitley said, implying that the base of the Congress party had eroded and by implying that it facilitating victory for opponents, it had, by its own admission, been reduced to a fringe party.

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