Lucknow: The Congress on Sunday announced it will not contest seven Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh to return the favour of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance, which has left two seats for the party in the state.
Addressing a press conference at the Nehru Bhawan here, Congress state unit chief Raj Babbar said, “The SP-BSP-RLD have not fielded any candidates from Rae Bareli and Amethi (represented by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) and so our party has also decided not to contest seven seats.”
He said the Congress will not contest in Mainpuri, the seat from which SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav is contesting the polls.
The Congress will also not contest in Kannauj, a seat represented by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple and Firozabad, represented by Akhilesh’s cousin Akshay Yadav.
Babbar said the Congress will also not field candidates from those seats that the BSP Chief Mayawati, RLD Chief Ajit Singh and RLD Vice President Jayant Chaudhary want to contest.
He, however, said the name of the seventh seat will be announced in a few days.
According to party leaders, Congress may give up the Azamgarh seat, from where Akhilesh Yadav is expected to contest.
The BSP is contesting 38 seats in the state, the SP 37 and the RLD three.
The UP Congress chief also announced an alliance with the Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) for seven seats in the state.
He said the JAP will contest five seats on its own symbol and two seats on the Congress symbol.
The JAP will contest on its own symbol from Jhansi, Etah, Chandauli, Basti and one more seat, which will be decided in a day or two.
It will contest on the Congress symbol from Chandauli and one more seat, which will be declared in a few days, Babbar added.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 73 of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014.
Uttar Pradesh will vote in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.