The high command would take the final call.”
Sources said that Congress may leave more seats for BSP than SP to prevent a division of Muslim votes.Political experts said that Muslims voting against BJP can turn into an invincible Dalit-Muslim combination being eyed by BSP chief Mayawati.“A division of Muslim votes can benefit BJP which Congress, SP and BSP will not want,” said experts.Sources said that Congress aims to make inroads into BJP’s core upper caste vote bank moreso after the government brought 10% reservation for the poor among upper castes.Political circles have been abuzz about Congress playing replacing UP chief Raj Babbar with former MP Jitin Prasada, a Brahmin who is also a close confidante of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and was recently appointed as a special invitee in AICC.Congress general secretary PL Punia, however, said: “The sentiment among party workers is for contesting all 80 seats in UP.
LUCKNOW: With the announcement of SP and BSP holding a joint press meet on Saturday leaving clear indications of their not taking Congress along and sticking to their decision of not contesting Amethi and Rae Bareli, the grand old party is also mulling to field its candidates from 60 to 65 Lok Sabha seats in the state, but choose them strategically to harm BJP by setting up one-on-one contest.The proposal came up for discussion at the meeting of party leadership on Friday where Congress role in UP was deliberated upon in detail.Sources said that Congress may have to go solo in UP and is likely to field 60-65 candidates.“The remaining seats would be left for SP, BSP and RLD,” said a UP Congress leader hinting at a tactic understanding with SP-BSP combine to ensure a direct contest between opposition and BJP.A similar arrangement had been tested successfully in Kairana and Noorpur byelections last year when Congress and BSP did not field candidates and lent support to RLD and SP candidates who won.Congress leadership undertook a region-wise assessment of UP to pick seats it would contest.
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