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As arch rivals BSP, SP 'join forces' in UP bypolls, Congress declares it will go solo

New Delhi: Amid reports of an "understanding" between arch-rivals Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh bypolls, the Congress on Monday made it clear that it will not tie up with any party and asserted that its candidates will contest the elections.

"The Congress has already declared its candidates for the by-elections to Phulpur and Gorakhpur Parliamentary seats and will contest independent of any understanding or tie-up that other parties have," Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar told PTI.

File image of Raj Babbar. News18

File image of UP Congress chief Raj Babbar. News18

He said he was campaigning for the party candidates in Uttar Pradesh for the bypolls and dismissed reports of any poll-pact with the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

"The Congress is raising the voice of the poor and will continue to do so in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere. Whenever the Congress is weakened, the voice of the poor has been weakened," he said.

Babbar said the Congress wants peace, stability and brotherhood in Uttar Pradesh and will continue to support the oppressed and the poor.

Sources said the Congress is under pressure to come together and unitedly contest the bye-elections for the Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats.

They said Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is trying to rope in the Congress by bringing together all secular forces under one common platform to defeat the BJP.

He is also seeking to reach out to Rahul Gandhi for arriving at such an understanding, the sources said.

The Samajwadi Party and BSP, traditional arch-rivals in the state, have reached a broad understanding for the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, which has created a stir in political circles.

The Samajwadi Party is hopeful of a possible alliance in the future and the BJP dubbed the move as "compulsion". Though BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday ruled out an alliance with the Samajwadi Party, she said her party's workers would work for a candidate that could defeat the BJP. Local BSP leaders in Gorakhpur and Phulpur have also formally announced their support for Samajwadi Party candidates.

Updated Date: Mar 05, 2018 22:21 PM

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