13. The Congress on Wednesday announced an alliance with a regional outfit, Mahan
Dal, for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. The two parties
had fought the 2014 elections in alliance wherein the Mahan Dal had fielded
candidates from Nagina, Budayun and Etah. The party had lost all
the three seats.
of the alliance was made in the presence of Congress general secretary Priyanka
Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia and UPCC chief Raj Babbar.
outfit has some clout in western UP. Sources say the Congress is trying to
forge similar alliances with other smaller parties because its own
organisational structure was in a shambles.
Gandhi has been tasked with looking after 41 seats in eastern Uttar Pradesh
while Scindia has been assigned 39 parliamentary constituencies by the Congress
president. The two have been meeting party’s grassroots workers for the past
three days and taking feedback on the ground realities.
president of the Maha Dal, Keshav Dev Maurya, said the coming together of the
two parties will be a winner combination and that many backward castes would
support the alliance.
sides would soon finalize seat arrangements, sources said.
holding marathon meetings with old party leaders, loyalists and workers from
several districts, Congress leaders said the contest was between Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi and not Priyanka.
focus is on strengthening the party organisation in the state and to ensure
that we win, the ‘muqabla’ is between Rahul and Modi and not me,” she
made light of the ongoing questioning of her husband Robert Vadra by
Enforcement Directorate (ED) and said that such things will continue and that
she was focussing on the assignment given to her by the Congress president.
things don’t affect me,” she replied with a smile when asked whether the
ongoing investigations against her husband and mother-in-law bothered her.
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