Published By: Kavya Mishra
Last Updated: September 13, 2023, 22:29 IST
Uttar Pradesh Congress president Ajay Rai on Wednesday said while his party and others in the opposition INDIA block worked to ensure the Samajwadi Party nominee’s victory in the Ghosi by-poll, the SP fielded its candidate against the Congress in neighbouring Uttarakhand.
The SP won the September 5 assembly bypoll by more than 42,000 votes in UP’s Ghosi, while the BJP retained the Bageshwar seat in Uttarakhand by a slim margin. Rai blamed the SP for the defeat.
Both parties are part of the INDIA alliance which hopes to beat the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 parliamentary election.
“The Congress extended its full support to SP nominee Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi by-election,” Rai, who was here for a party programme, told the media.
He, however, expressed regret that the SP put up its candidate in the Bageshwar bypoll in Uttarakhand, which led to the defeat of the Congress nominee by a narrow margin.
In a close contest, the ruling BJP retained the Bageshwar assembly seat with its candidate Parwati Dass defeating Congress’ Basant Kumar.
Backed by constituents of INDIA, Samajwadi Party candidate Sudhakar Singh defeated BJP’s Dara Singh Chauhan by 42,759 votes in the Ghosi bypoll, which was the first direct contest between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the INDIA in the most populous state.
“Showing a big heart, as was said by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, every single worker of the Congress, not only of Mau, but also of Ghazipur, Azamgarh and Gorakhpur districts, worked round the clock following which the INDIA candidate won the Ghosi bypoll,” Rai said,.
“We heard the voice of the people and extended support to the SP candidate,” he said.
“The Congress is showing a big heart and taking everyone along,” he said, adding that the other constituents of the opposition alliance should also reciprocate.
Asked about seat-sharing among the INDIA constituents for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Rai said, “We are ready to work with a big heart, they have to think how they will work with the alliance partners.” On the Congress’ preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Rai said the party will contest with full strength in 2024 and will form its government.
Though SP president Yadav attended the INDIA alliance meetings in Patna, Bengaluru and Mumbai, it is not clear whether the party will accept the Congress as an ally in Uttar Pradesh in 2024.
Uttar Pradesh sends the maximum number of 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)