AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was in Lucknow to be part of the state executive committee meet on Wednesday, said there was a lot of pressure on all secular parties including the Congress and Samajwadi Party, but maintained that Congress does not want to be seen as intervening in the ongoing feud within the ruling SP and a decision would be taken only after the conflict is resolved.
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Till then, they would prepare to contest on all 403 seats, he said.
“There is pressure on us..There must be pressure on SP as well. There is pressure on all the secular parties,” Azad told reporters in Lucknow, adding that Congress has always been of the view that all the secular forces should work together.
Maintaining that there were no talks of an alliance as of now, Azad said, “Let SP sort out their internal issues…You will get to know when it happens.”
He also said that starting Wednesday, 3-day meetings of the state election committee would be held to consider candidates for all 403 seats.
The state executive committee, which was chaired by state party president Raj Babbar, was attended by around 1000 delegates including 550 members of the executive, all district and city committee heads as well as heads of all frontal organisations of the party. Congress chief ministerial candidate, Sheila Dikshit, who was supposed to be part of the meeting as well, did not attend it.
The meeting, which was addressed by senior leaders including Azad and Babbar, focused largely on instructing leaders how to spread the word about “effects of demonetisation” at the grassroot level.
It was decided at the event that while all district units would hold protests against demonetisation on January 7 at the district headquarters, on January 9, members of the Mahila Congress would also be organising protests across the state.
Claiming that the Kisan Yatra of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was well-received by farmers, Babbar told leaders that Rahul had said that they would have to raise the issue of how going cashless would not help them, instead aid those who “have a lot of money”.
Indirectly speaking on ongoing feud in the the Samajwadi Party, Babbar said, “Whatever is happening in one party in the state…Congress wants happiness and peace in all families.”
With the party formally embarking on deciding on tickets from Wednesday, Azad cautioned party leaders not to indulge in infighting. He added that while he understood the ambition to contest elections, the focus should be to ensure victory of the one who is given a ticket.
He also asked workers to be cautious about their language during elections and said that in the country of Mahatma Gandhi, language used should also be inspired by him.
Azad concluded with urging leaders to take a pledge to lead the Congress to victory in the state.