The Janata Dal United faction led by Sharad Yadav will contest the Gujarat Assembly polls in alliance with the Congress. Sharad Yadav, who made the announcement at a media conference here on Wednesday, said: “We have already said it… All efforts are being made to ensure that people remain united.” He said that he had spoken to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on the issue and suggested to him that the alliances be forged in a manner that votes of opposition parties do not get divided.
He pointed out that the BJP had secured “only 31 per cent votes against 69 per cent of opposition parties” in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. When asked if the proposed alliance would take Sharad Pawar’s NCP on board, Yadav said, “It is the Congress which is in the driver’s seat in Gujarat. Therefore, the call on an alliance has to be taken by it. What we have discussed with Rahulji is that the division should be minimised as much as possible.”
Regarding the issue of sharing of seats, he said the matter had not been discussed yet. In any case, it “will be handled by our state unit there and the Congress”. Incidentally, acting president of the party Chhotubhai Vasava is not only from Gujarat, but also is a member of the outgoing assembly.
When asked about the delay in the Election Commission announcement of polls in Gujarat, he said, “We do not consider it proper to comment on institutions, but this (the EC’s move) has tarnished its image.”