LUCKNOW: That it was a tactical move by the SP-BSP to keep the Congress out of their alliance so as to cause maximum damage to the BJP by using the Grand Old Party as ‘vote katuwa’ (vote splitter) was substantiated on Wednesday by none other the Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi in Salone, Amethi, on Wednesday.
Campaigning for brother and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in his bastion, Priyanka claimed the Congress had fielded its candidates painstakingly across Uttar Pradesh in such a way so as to breach the BJP vote bank without damaging the SP-BSP gathbandhan. “We have chosen our candidates very carefully who can cut into BJP’s vote bank to ensure its defeat and not hurt the gathbandhan,” she said. “The Congress is not at all cutting into the votes of the SP-BSP-RLD alliance as our candidates will either win or have the potential to damage BJP’s chances.”
Her sibling, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, however, struck a contrarion note. While addressing a rally in Barabanki, Rahul fired a salvo at the SP-BSP alliance challenging their grit to stand to PM Modi’s might. “Their control may be in Modi’s hand as they have a history, but I don’t fear him as I don’t have any history,” he said.
On the contrary, Priyanaka dropped substantial hints about a tacit understanding between the Congress and SP-BSP alliance in the polls by claiming that her party’s aim was to defeat the BJP at any cost instead of hurting the prospects of the alliance.
At the time of cobbling up the alliance with the BSP, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, too, had tried to justify Congress’s exclusion saying it was in the interest of the opposition to keep the Grand Old Party out of the gathbandhan to ensure BJP’s ouster. But , as the poll temperatures soared, the discourse in the battle ground also changed.
On Wednesday, the SP chief hit back at Rahul over his Barabanki statement asking him not to impart lessons in politics to Samajwadis.
“It was a Congress member who filed a PIL against me and Neta ji in the Supreme Court. Depite having suffered so much at their hands from time-to-time, we have left Amethi and Rae Bareli for them. Rahul Gandhi should not impart us the lessons of politics,” said Akhilesh, interacting with the media persons.