Kolkata: The Samajwadi Party on Monday took pot shots at the Congress over reports that its President Rahul Gandhi could fight the Lok Sabha polls from another seat in addition to his traditional Amethi, as it announced support for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.
“We are getting reports that the Congress President is likely to contest the poll from another state like Karnataka or Kerala besides being in fray from his seat Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. This is the real picture of the Congress’s organisational strength in Uttar Pradesh,” Samajwadi Party national Vice President Kiranmoy Nanda said here.
Nanda said the SP decided to go for a tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party while leaving only two seats – Amethi and Raebareli – for the Congress in the light of its experience in the 2017 assembly polls in the state.
The SP and the Congress had then tied up, but their alliance came a cropper at the hustings, with the Bharatiya Janata Party romping to victory.
“We have left two seats for the Congress. For the Rashtriya Lok Dal, we have left three seats. But the Congress has decided to contest 73 seats in the state. We would like them to put up a good fight,” he said at a media meet.
Uttar Pradesh has 80 seats – the largest number among all states.
Nanda exuded confidence that the SP-BSP-RLD alliance will sweep UP and stop the march of the BJP. “Our alliance will bag over 60 seats as it reflects the aspirations of the masses,” he said.
Turning to West Bengal, where he was a long-time minister in the Left Front government, Nanda said his party, with its limited influence in the state, would back Banerjee, “who is the only force in the state that can defeat the BJP”.
He said the SP would organise rallies in support of the Trinamool in the eastern state.