LUCKNOW: In a major strategic shift, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Thursday launched a blistering attack on the Grand Alliance, including the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). He claimed that the two parties, along with the BJP, have ruined UP. The Congress chief made the unexpected statement while addressing a public rally in Badaun, the pocket borough of Samajwadis.
Adding to his diatribe, Rahul said in order to bring UP back on track, he had appointed Priyanka and Jyotiraditya Scindia, so a Congress government could be formed in the state after next assembly polls in 2022. Calling the SP and BSP leadership ‘darpok’ (coward), he said, “They are scared of PM Modi as they have a history and Modi has the CBI card in his hands.” He was explaining why Akhilesh and Mayawati had refrained from calling out the prime minister as “Chowkidar chor hai”.
“The Congress is not afraid of CBI. We are working to resurrect the Congress in UP and we will do it,” he said.SP and BSP had elbowed the Congress out while cobbling together the UP alliance. However, they left the Rae Bareli and Amethi seats as a goodwill gesture.
Rahul’s attack on the alliance leaders was seen as an apparent bid to bust the impression that the party had a tacit understanding with the alliance in UP. His tirade assumes significance as he was delivering the speech in SP stronghold, which has Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav as the sitting MP, who is seeking re-election from the seat. Also, bringing itself in the fight as the third force, Congress has fielded a strong candidate Salim Iqbal Sherwani in Badaun against Dharmendra.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said MSP would be announced in a separate farmers’ budget which his party’s manifesto had promised. He was campaigning in Vanthli in Junagadh district.