The BJP is facing off against the combined might of the SP, BSP and Ajit Singh's RLD on one hand and the Congress party on the other in UP.
A day after Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi, claimed that her party’s candidates will eat into BJP’s vote back in Uttar Pradesh in seats which go to polls in the coming three phases of Lok Sabha elections polls in the state, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati rubbished her claims and advised voters to stay clear of voting for the grand old party. While Akhilesh scoffed at Priyanka’s revelation saying no party fields weak candidates anywhere, Mayawati said that the people should not waste their vote for the Congress.
“I don’t believe that Congress has fielded weak candidates anywhere. No party does it. People are not with them,” he told ANI. The Samajwadi leader also accused the grand old party of trying to benefit the saffron party in the ongoing polls. Trying to put both Congress and BJP in the same bracket, Akhilesh added that the latter learnt to misuse the ED, CBI and other agencies against opposition leaders from the former.
Mayawati also lashed out at Priyanka’s remarks and advised voters to stay clear of the Congress this election. A vote for the Congress, she said, would be as good as wasting one’s vote, she cautioned.
#WATCH Samajwadi Party (SP) President Akhilesh Yadav says, “Congress wants to benefit BJP. BJP has learnt to misuse the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation & other agencies against leaders in opposition from the Congress” pic.twitter.com/Xj9avffpQX
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 2, 2019
The Bharatiya Janata Party is facing off against the combined might of the SP, BSP and Ajit Singh’s RLD on one hand and the Congress party on the other. While Congress was expected to be part of the alliance between Akhilesh and Mayawati, the tie-up could not materialise over major differences in the seat-sharing formula. The Congress, which has been on the decline in the state, was handed only two seats by the SP-BSP alliance, in a clear message that it considered the party a spent force. The Congress eventually decided to contest all 80 seats on its own in the state.
While the contest in UP is likely to be two-sided, Priyanka’s remarks suggesting that its candidates would end up cutting BJP votes is something that the SP-BSP alliance have not taken kindly to. While the message that Priyanka wished to convey is that the Mahagathbandhan and the Congress may join forces post-elections, the SP and BSP do not wish to accord any importance to the Congress in the state. To be seen as the B-team of Congress is the last thing that they would like in an election where they claim to emerge as ones who will decide the government that rules India for the next five years.