New Delhi: In the first attack by a senior Congress leader on the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has said that it does not “spell stability” and the Congress will spring a surprise in the state in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
“Let them come together. They keep on coming together and departing and coming together. I mean they are not stable, they don’t spell stability. Let’s see,” Dikshit told IANS in an interview here.
Dikshit, 80, a three-term Delhi Chief Minister, was responding to a question about the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party forging an alliance for contesting the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state and keeping the Congress out of the grand alliance. Dikshit was named the Delhi Congress chief on Jan 10.
Dikshit, who was projected by Congress as the chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh before it struck an alliance with Samajwadi Party for the 2017 assembly polls, also said prospects of BJP under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were weak.
Dikshit’s remarks indicate that Congress leaders are likely to target the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in their campaign in Uttar Pradesh through their main opponent will be the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Congress has decided to contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state but has kept the doors open for secular parties willing to defeat the BJP.
Party leaders are expected to tell the electorate in Uttar Pradesh that Congress is the only party that can oust the Narendra Modi government and defeats the BJP. They will also emphasize that the election was not to choose a Chief Minister but the country’s Prime Minister.
The Congress could win only two seats in Uttar Pradesh in the last Lok Sabha elections but it had won 21 in 2009 when it formed the second United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.
Dikshit said she will campaign for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh if asked to but will focus more on Delhi as there is a lot of work of work to be done.
She favored party president Rahul Gandhi being projected as the prime ministerial candidate by the Congress.
“Let the party decide that. We want, I want personally and most of us want it. But it has to be decided by the entire party,” she said.
With prime ministership a contentious issue among non-BJP parties, Gandhi has himself said that it will be decided after the elections and the first task is to defeat the Narendra Modi government.
Asked about the possibility of a pan-India grand alliance, Dikshit said people have been working on it but it has not come through yet.
“Let’s see, they are working on it. It hasn’t come through as yet. As far as Congress is concerned, let’s see what happens,” she said.
Opposition leaders have indicated that there was little possibility of a pan-Inda grand alliance shaping up before the Lok Sabha polls and there will be state-specific alliances to defeat the BJP.