A DAY after Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav ruled out any alliance ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh saying his party was only open to mergers, Congress hit back Friday saying “ocean does not merge in rivers and drains, instead they merge into it”. The message was conveyed by party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Sinh during the training programme for about 1,000 Dalit workers from different parts of the state before launch of “Dalit Shiksha, Suraksha and Swabhiman” campaign.
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“Kal UP ke ek bade neta ne kaha ki alliance nahi karenge. Kisi ko merge karna hai to kar le. Mujhe ashcharya hai. Kyonki nadiya samudra mein milti hain na ki samudra nadiyon mein milta hai. Samudra, Samudra hota hai, apni dhara mein chalta hai aur nadi naaley, nadi naaley hi hote hain (Yesterday, a senior leader in UP said that there would be no alliance and others can merge their parties with his if they want. I am surprised, because ocean remains ocean. It is the rivers and drains that merge into the ocean, not otherwise),” said Sinh, chairman of the Congress campaign committee.
Another Rajya Sabha MP, P L Punia too clarified that there won’t be any alliance and Congress would contest on all the 403 seats in state. He also sought to clarify to that poll strategist Prashant Kishor had no role to play in the planning of the “Dalit Shiksha, Suraksha and Swabhiman” campaign. Punia also announced that “Congress ticket distribution would take place in a month’s time” in UP.
Later speaking to The Indian Express, Punia said, “There was a request from the workers that Congress should organise such training programme thus I clarified that we have planned this campaign. As we go door to door from one district to another, it would be our party organisation, which would manage this entire campaign.”
Congress UP in-charge Ghaluam Nabi Azad, CM candidate Sheila Dikshit, AICC SC department head K Raju too attended the workshop where 28-page training manual was distributed among the Dalit leaders. The manual explained in detail about “Congress and 100 years of Dalit empowerment,” “Dalit empowerment and Mahatma Gandhi”, “Dalit empowerment by Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi and “Sacrifice by Sonia Gandhi” as well as “love of Rahul Gandhi for poor and Dalits”.
It also contains 10 frequently asked questions by the Opposition such as “Why was Babu Jagjivan Ram not made Prime Minister?, Why did Baba Saheb not get Bharat Ratna?”. The questions have been included so that workers are well prepared with their answers.
Ane of the workers asked why senior party leaders do not go among Dalits at which Azad cited example of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi visiting the houses of Dalits and having food with them.
Azad said that earlier the “minority community and the Dalits were associated with Congress”. He said that after feeling cheated at the hands of other parties, they were now ready to come back to Congress again. Dikshit, on the other hand, told the gathering about the steps undertaken by her during her regime as Delhi Chief Minister to open boarding schools for Dalits.