UP polls: ‘Cong to sit in Opposition if it does not get numbers’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/latest-news/up-polls-cong-to-sit-in-opposition-if-it-does-not-get-numbers/

UP polls: ‘Cong to sit in Opposition if it does not get numbers’

A senior Congress leader says the party would not extend support to any other party.

Congress would prefer to sit in the Opposition in case it fell short of numbers in the election to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly than supporting any other party,senior leader Digvijay Singh has said.

He also raised questions over the possibility of Congress ally RLD heading the government in case the combine gets majority.

“We would not extend support to any other party and prefer sitting in the Opposition (in case party fell short of numbers)”,he said.

The senior Congress leader,who is in-charge of party affairs in the state,said Congress would get majority and form the next government.

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Asked to comment on party leader Pervez Hashmi reportedly backing the claim of RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary as chief ministerial candidate,Singh wondered as to how the leader of a party contesting only 46 seats can stake claim to the highest post.

“RLD is only contesting 46 seats in the 403 member house… how can the leader of a party contesting these number of seats become the chief minister”,he said.

“Had RLD led by Ajit Singh merged with the Congress before the elections,chances of such a possibility would have increased because then the Congress legislature party would have considered it”,Singh said.

Coming to the defence of Union Ministers Salman Khurshid and Beni Prasad Verma,who have made promises on enhancing Muslim quota during electioneering,Singh made light of the remarks saying in an highly emotional campaign,”such things happen”.

“It should not be taken as violation of model code of conduct as it was the reassertion of the promise made in the party manifesto… If one is not allowed to speak on the manifesto what would the leader say during campaigning”,he asked.

Singh,however,said in the case of Khurshid,the EC had felt that when he made the statement,the manifesto was not released.

Refusing to accept the line that Muslim quota promises have triggered a reaction,Singh said actually it is a fight for ideology.

“We have brought to the fore the reality on the Batla House case and Muslim quota… if it leads to any reaction at the electoral level we are not concerned”,he said.

Singh alleged that the media has given unnecessary hype to ministers’ statements on Batla House encounter and Muslim reservation issues but did not raise the matter of BJP leader L.K Advani meeting the Prime Minister for “saving” Sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit,accused in the Malegaon blast.

He said the Sachar Committee report had proved that in the past 20 years,only one per cent of backward Muslims had benefited from the quota and “under the circumstances if we speak on enhancing it,the issue should not be linked to election”.

On the ongoing elections,he said his party was in direct contest with the Samajwadi Party and BJP would finish a poor fourth.

While expressing happiness over the rise in voter turnout,Singh said the increase reflected anti-incumbency sentiment.

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The youth has expressed faith in Rahul and the clean and development-oriented politics that he is speaking about,he said,adding it is not in favour of Samajwadi Party,the memory of whose “goondaraj is still fresh in the minds of the people”.

“The BJP is not in the race”,he said.