UP: Congress Alleges 'Poaching' By Samajwadi Party Amidst Ongoing Rift After Announcement Of 16 Candidates

UP: Congress Alleges 'Poaching' By Samajwadi Party Amidst Ongoing Rift After Announcement Of 16 Candidates

“The Samajwadi Party has poached into our territory and has announced candidates where we were willing to field candidates,” a senior Congress leader alleged.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 09:34 PM IST
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Congress (left) Samajwadi Party (right) |

Lucknow: The political landscape in Uttar Pradesh is rife with speculation of rift between Congress and Samajwadi Party following SP’s announcement of 16 candidates for various constituencies on Tuesday.

“The Samajwadi Party has poached into our territory and has announced candidates where we were willing to field candidates,” a senior Congress leader told FPJ here on Wednesday.

Earlier, SP's decision to allocate 11 seats to the Congress, as part of the alliance quota, has reportedly been met with dissatisfaction by the Congress, which had sought no less than 20 seats.

The latest point of contention stems from the SP's declaration of candidates in constituencies where the Congress has invested considerable resources, with leaders such as Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra actively campaigning on behalf of the people.

Speculations rife between Congress-SP

While dialogue between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party continues, with efforts to finalize constituencies where the Congress could contest and secure victories, concerns persist over the unilateral decisions made by the SP. A senior Congress leader, speaking to FPJ on Wednesday, highlighted that the SP's list includes two constituencies where the Congress had shown keen interest and dedicated manpower.

One such constituency is Lakhimpur, where the Congress had launched extensive campaigns following a tragic incident involving the son of Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra Teni. Additionally, the recent defection of former SP leader and ex-MP Ravi Verma to Congress had fueled expectations of his candidacy from this region. However, the SP's move to field candidates for both Lok Sabha seats in Lakhimpur has raised doubts about the unity within the alliance.

Lakhimpur district constituency

Lakhimpur district comprises two parliamentary seats – Khiri and Dhaurahra – with the SP nominating Utkarsh Verma for Kheri and Anand Bhadoria for Dhaurahra. The decision has further exacerbated concerns about strained relations between the two parties.

Similar tensions arise in Farrukhabad, where the SP has put forward Dr. Naval Kishore Shakya as its candidate, potentially encroaching upon the traditional domain of senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

Senior Congress Leader Salman Khurshid

Incidentally, two days back a Muslim delegation met Salman and requested Congress to ally with BSP instead of SP. Salman had reportedly told the delegation that Congress has decided to go with SP and would stick to it.

Sources, even claim that Salman was the fulcrum of SP-Congress alliance and was in touch with Akhilesh

Political analysts note growing discontent within the Congress ranks over the SP's unilateral actions, despite the absence of explicit statements from Congress leaders. The dissatisfaction with seat allocations by the SP only adds fuel to speculations of discord within the alliance.

With the Lok Sabha elections drawing nearer, the unresolved issue of seat allocation threatens to strain the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh, casting doubts on its effectiveness in the upcoming electoral battle.

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