The Congress on Tuesday did not file nomination from Karhal (Mainpuri) and Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) seats in UP, where Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party president Shivpal Yadav are contesting, citing political courtesy. The two seats go to polls in the third phase and Tuesday was the last date for filing nomination papers for candidates. Polling in the third phase will happen on February 20.
In the last few elections in UP, the two parties have not fielded candidates against national leaders for the other party. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the SP had not fielded candidates from Amethi and Rae Bareilly seats where Rahul Gandhi and party chief Sonia Gandhi had contested.
The Congress had announced Gyanvati Yadav from Karhal seat before the SP had announced Akhilesh to be its candidate from the seat, while Congress had not announced any candidate from Jaswant Nagar, where Shivpal will contest on SP ticket.
Manish Shah, AICC-Coordinator (Mainpuri), confirmed that the Congress will be leaving the seats for the sake of respect to the other party. “We received instructions from the high command that we should not file nomination from here, and we did so. It is part of political courtesy. It is the extension of respect by us and it works both ways. This has happened in past too,” said Shah.
SP national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary also called it “political courtesy”. “This has happened in the past too. Both parties are anti-BJP and secular. Hence, not fielding candidates is part of political courtesy.”
Asked if the SP will leave any seat for anyone from the Gandhi family or the Congress in the upcoming polls, he said, “No one from the family is contesting. If they do, the party will take a call.”