UP: Akhilesh Yadav Softens Stance Towards Congress; Says Will Defeat BJP In LS Polls Together
Image courtesy: PTI
Lucknow: Months after the tussle between Congress and Samajwadi Party (SP) over seat-sharing in Uttar Pradesh in next year's Lok Sabha polls, the SP chief softened his stance towards the grand old party on Saturday for the first time.
"Samajwadi Party has aimed to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party since day one. Whenever we've formed an alliance with any party, we've come together with respect," Yadav said during a press conference in Lucknow.
The SP chief's remarks are being seen as the first indication of his softening towards the Congress, especially in light of how Akhilesh went hammer and tongs on Congress during the Madhya Pradesh polls after the latter walked out of an alliance for the state polls unannounced.
Akhilesh Yadav held a press conference at the SP headquarters on Saturday to felicitate the members of the rat-hole mining team, who displayed immeasurable courage in rescuing the labourers trapped in a Silkyara tunnel in Uttarakhand.
Giving a message to the Congress and other opposition alliance INDIA on behalf of the rat-hole miners, Yadav said, "People who save lives are priceless. They are precious people. Everyone worked together as a team and achieved their goal by saving not only 41 people but also saved 41 families. This message is for the entire country; if we all work together, then no matter how big the problem is, it can be solved," he said while handing over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each of the workers.
The former CM had threatened to give a “tit-for-tat” response to Congress in UP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls after both failed to reach a deal in the recently concluded Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls. Yadav even had called the Congress, “a compulsive betrayer” and had also said that it was no different from the BJP.
Samajwadi Party spokesperson Fakhrul Hasan Chaand has recently created a controversy that the Congress' hold did not go beyond Amethi, which was represented by senior Congress Rahul Gandhi, who lost the seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to Union minister Smriti Irani, and Raebareli, which was represented by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Therefore, the grand old party should be given only two seats.
''To be honest, Congress should get only two seats – Amethi and Raebareli. Giving more seats than this would help the BJP. Congress does not have any presence here except in these Lok Sabha constituencies,'' the leader told the media, adding that the SP did not have any intention to break the INDIA alliance.
Holding it responsible for defeat in three states, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, the SP spokesperson said it happened because of Congress' "wrong decisions." "This defeat of Congress weakened the message of unity of INDIA Alliance," he said.
Congress’s Uttar Pradesh chief, Ajay Rai, has said the party does not rely on anyone’s ‘mercy’. Rai added that the Congress is strengthening its organisation in the 80 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh for the 2024 general election.
RLD CHIEF SUPPORTS AKHILESH, INDIA
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) president and Rajya Sabha member Jayant Chaudhary extended his support to Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and justified his ''anger over seat-sharing" in Madhya Pradesh.
Advising Congress, Chaudhary said, "Whatever Akhilesh said is absolutely correct. Congress should have shown a big heart that wherever the party (regional) is strong, then it should support the other parties. Akhilesh Yadav has a big role in the INDIA alliance."
Taking a dig at the grand old party, the RLD chief further said, "The Congress was a big party in the states where polls were held, but the results were not in its favour. It should learn a lesson from its mistakes. There is an opportunity to learn from these results."
Chaudhary, who was in Lucknow to attend the party’s state executive meeting on Saturday speaking to media over seat-sharing said, "We will sit with alliance partners and decide in how many seats RLD will contest polls."
The RLD chief also said his party was and will continue to be with the INDIA bloc.
“All INDIA bloc partners should support each other in their respective areas of influence and regions,” he said.
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