Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday he is confident of his party’s ability in Uttar Pradesh and asserted that to “underestimate” the Congress in UP would be a “mistake”.
Gandhi’s statement comes days after the SP and the BSP decided to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from 37 seats each in UP, leaving just two seats for the Congress.
Speaking on the issue for the first time, Gandhi said there are “very interesting things” that the Congress party can do in UP and argued it will surprise people.
“Our first aim is to defeat Mr Narendra Modi. And so there are states where we are very strong and we are the primary party in the state and in those states we are contesting the BJP directly. There are states where there are possible alliances — Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Bihar — where we are working out an alliance formula. We are an ideological party. We fight based on ideology. There are very interesting things that the Congress party can do in Uttar Pradesh that we are working on,” he told Gulf News in an interview on the eve of his two-day visit to UAE.
He said the Congress idea is very powerful for Uttar Pradesh. “So, we are very confident of our ability in Uttar Pradesh and I think we will surprise people.”
Asked whether the Congress would field candidates against the SP and the BSP, he said, “We are trying to bring the opposition together. It is happening in Bihar, in Tamil Nadu, in Maharashtra, in Jharkhand, it has happened with Mr (Chandrababu) Naidu (in Andhra Pradesh), in Jammu and Kashmir…and UP is work in progress… I have heard some statements in the media but we are going to work together and make sure that we defeat Mr Modi. But, I just want to say again — I think to underestimate the Congress in UP is a mistake.”
Andhra CM meets Rahul, other Oppn leaders
New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandra-babu Naidu on Tuesday met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at the latter’s residence here. The two leaders are learnt to have discussed plans for uniting all Opposition parties against the BJP.
Naidu also met other opposition leaders, including NCP’s Sharad Pawar, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal and NC’s Farooq Abdullah. After their meeting, Naidu and Pawar said they will be visiting Kolkata for a TMC rally at the invitation of Mamata Banerjee on January 19.
This is the second round of meeting Naidu had with leaders of Opposition parties for a united platform to take on the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. —ENS