Lucknow, May 2 : A verbal duel broke out between the SP-BSP alliance and the Congress over who is close to the BJP or benefiting the saffron brigade. In Barabanki, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that BSP and SP are dancing to the tunes of PM Narendra Modi while everyone knows that BJP cannot dictate him. Congress general secretary for UP (East) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too made it clear that her party is the main opposition force in the state and was assisting the SP-BSP alliance in some seats by fielding weak candidates.
These comments have irked the alliance, particularly the Samajwadi Party, which has now hit back at the Congress with more vengeance. "No one controls us. We are political parties. It is the SP, BSP and RLD alliance in UP that is poised to give a setback to the ruling party. Our alliance will stop the bad policies of BJP, said SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. He further hit at the Congress here on Thursday, saying "BJP has learnt to misuse the ED, Central Bureau of Investigation and other agencies against leaders in opposition from the Congress.There is no difference between the BJP and the Congress. Congress wants to benefit the BJP. Who taught the central agencies to intimidate Opposition leaders?."
"I don't believe that Congress has fielded weak candidates anywhere. No party does it. People are not with them That is why they are making excuses," he said on Ms Vadra’s claim to have fielded weak candidates to eat into BJP’s vote share in Lok Sabha polls in UP. The SP president made a candid admission that he wants to increase the number of SP’s MPs in the Lok Sabha. " I want to be among those who want to make a new Prime Minister. I want UP to contribute in the next government formation," the SP chief added.
He said, "The alliances in several states have choices but the BJP does not have any other leader. Our alliance wants to give India a new Prime Minister. My party will decide about the PM when the final seat tally is out." However, he refused that his father Mulayam Singh Yadav is in the race for the PM post. "Our alliance wants to give India a new PM. Party will decide about the PM when final seat tally is out. It'll be good if Netaji gets the honour (to be PM) but I feel he is probably not in prime ministerial race."
Commenting on the rejection of nomination of a sacked jawan, pitted by the SP against the Prime Minister from Varanasi, Mr Yadav said," When they are asking for votes in the name of nationalism, they should have faced a soldier. People who dismissed him from his job because he complained about food, how can those people be called real patriots?." On Wednesday, Ms Vadra spoke about Congress's poll strategy in Uttar Pradesh stating that weak candidates fielded by her party in the state will cut into BJP's vote share. "Congress will win on the seats where our candidates are strong. Where our candidates are slightly lightweight, they will cut into BJP's vote share," she said. (UNI)