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BJP is the target, no confusion, Mayawati told

Priyanka said the Congress had nothing to say against the alliance leaders and emphasised that their “common target is to defeat the BJP”

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow

  • Published 20.03.19, 3:18 AM
  • Updated 20.03.19, 3:18 AM
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with the devotees at Kantit Sharif Mazar during 'Ganga yatra’, in Mirzapur district on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with the devotees at Kantit Sharif Mazar during 'Ganga yatra’, in Mirzapur district on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. PTI

Priyanka Gandhi has replied to Mayawati’s warning that the Congress should desist from creating confusion, denying the party was doing so and stressing their common objective of defeating the BJP.

“There is no confusion in the Congress. We are all fighting the BJP,” the Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh said in Bhadohi on Monday evening.

Mayawati had cautioned the Congress after it left seven Uttar Pradesh constituencies free for the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance, apparently to reciprocate the combine’s gesture of not fielding candidates from Rae Bareli and Amethi, represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

“The Bahujan Samaj Party wants to make it very clear that there is no understanding or alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. Our people shouldn’t get confused by the rumours spread by the Congress every day,” Mayawati had tweeted on Monday.

Although Samajwadi president Akhilesh Yadav had been suggesting that the decision on Rae Bareli and Amethi showed that the Congress was the combine’s obvious ally, he changed his tune after Mayawati’s tweet.

“The alliance of the SP, BSP and RLD is efficient enough to defeat the BJP,” Akhilesh tweeted on Monday.

Priyanka said the Congress had nothing to say against the alliance leaders and emphasised that their “common target is to defeat the BJP”.

A Congress source, asking not to be identified, told this newspaper that Mayawati was angry at his party for having rebuffed her conditions to be part of the alliance.

“We had demanded 25 of the state’s 80 seats. Mayawati’s condition for us was to be happy with only 7 seats, and that too after declaring her the alliance’s candidate for Prime Minister. This was impossible to accept,” he said.

“Eventually, our party president Rahul Gandhi decided to ignore them (the alliance) and this has angered her.”

He added: “Akhilesh had no opinion on these issues and was eager to get closer to the BSP in any situation because he has been feeling insecure since his uncle (Shivpal Yadav) formed the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia). This is why Mayawati was able to secure 38 seats and give only 37 to the Samajwadis.”

On Monday night, Priyanka told a gathering that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have backed up his claim of possessing a 56-inch chest by fulfilling his pre-poll promises from 2014.

“You (Modi) boast of a 56-inch chest and then ditch the people. The people are worried because there are weak governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh. The people will force the BJP to make way for genuine political parties,” she said.

Modi used to claim during the 2014 campaign that he alone could deliver development thanks to his 56-inch chest.

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