Shiv Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut on Tuesday said that his party will contest at least 50 seats in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. He also noted that he will soon visit the state.
He was speaking to the media after the comments made by NCP chief Sharad Pawar regarding the upcoming polls. Speaking about the UP Minister Swami Prasad Maurya’s exit from BJP and his decision to join the Samajwadi party, Raut said Maurya is known for his skills to gauge the upcoming change in the election and thus BJP should be wary.
Meanwhile, NCP President Sharad Pawar on Tuesday announced that the party will contest assembly elections in Manipur, Goa and Uttar Pradesh. He said the party will contest 5 seats in an alliance with Congress in Manipur while the talks are underway with Shiv Sena and Congress in Goa for the BJP’s defeat. NCP MP Praful Patel, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and Congress leaders from Goa are in talks for an alliance in Goa on the lines of Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra. Talks are underway.
In UP, the NCP will join hands with Samajwadi Party and like-minded parties. He claimed the change is visible in UP and said that Swami Prasad Maurya’s exit from BJP and his decision to join the Samajwadi party is just a beginning as more and more leaders from various parties are ready to cooperate with the opposition in UP. He hoped that Samajwadi Party and allies will form the government in UP. He announced that he will soon participate at the meeting convened by Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav to discuss election strategy.
Pawar alleged that the BJP plans to contest the election on communal lines but said the voters will not support such politics. ''People need change in UP and they will not accept BJP's communal politics,'' he said.
Pawar lashed out at UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s 80:20 statement saying that it does not augur well. Yogi Aadityanath had said 80 percent of people in the state support BJP while 20 per cent oppose it - a comment was widely seen as pitting the state's 80 per cent Hindu population against the 20 per cent minorities. ''It shows their mentality,'' he noted. He hoped that the Samajwadi party with allies will come to power in UP.
In Punjab, Pawar said he was of the view that Congress would retain power. However, with the turn of events, either AAP or Congress may come to power after the elections.
Pawar reiterated that Congress has to be an integral part of the opposition front against BJP. He also said Congress is free to take its decision whether to go solo or join hands with like-minded parties in state assembly polls.
Meanwhile, former Congress leader Siraj Mehndi today joined NCP in Pawar's presence.