NEW DELHI: The Congress, which is seeking to revive itself in the electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh, will not enter into a tie-up with any other major political party and contest all 403 state assembly seats on its own, party leader Priyanka Gandhi said on Sunday.
The Congress will contest all 403 seats in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh polls on its own and emerge victorious in the electoral battle, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in western Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, reported news agency PTI.
This marks a break from the Congress strategy in the 2017 state polls when it entered into a tie-up with the then ruling Samajwadi Party and conducted a high-pitched ‘UP ke ladke’ campaign centered around Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav. However, the BJP had swept the polls bagging a whopping 300+ seats.

‘Do-or-die’

The change in strategy also reflected in Priyanka’s statements, who said that leaders of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (SP) were nowhere to be seen when the 2017 Unnao rape case and the Hathras gangrape-and-murder case in 2020 rocked the country. She claimed it was only the Congress which fought for the people.
Addressing the party cadre at the Pratigya Sammelan – Lakshya 2022 in Anoopshahr, the Congress general secretary stressed on the importance of the Uttar Pradesh polls for the party, calling it a “do-or-die” situation. An electoral contest can only be won by strengthening the party at the booth level, she emphasised.
Priyanka Gandhi asked the Congress workers to be active on social media and post all party activities on various social networking platforms.
Priyanka’s dig at BJP
Taking a jibe at the ruling BJP, she said the saffron party has no respect for the freedom movement as its leaders did not shed blood and sweat for the country’s independence. She added that only leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and BR Ambedkar envisioned freedom for the country.
Priyanka Gandhi said the Congress has not only brought development but has also promoted brotherhood and harmony.
Hitting out at the BJP-led government at the Centre over the rising fuel prices, she said for 70 years, the Congress ensured that the fuel prices did not shoot up above Rs 70 per litre. However, in the last seven years, the BJP government has let the guard down, which has allowed the prices to shoot upwards of Rs 100 per litre.
SP focusses on smaller parties
Meanwhile, the SP is trying to choose a strategy similar to the BJP after a string of poor performances. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party is trying to enter into strategic tie-ups with smaller parties that have pockets of influence.
Yadav has also been involved in a war of words with the ruling BJP.
On Sunday, responding to Union home minister Amit Shah’s jibe at his party, Akhilesh said the BJP stands for arrogance, lies, and inflation.
Yadav’s response came a day after Shah’s speech in Azamgarh, in which he termed the SP as a party that stands for “Jinnah, Azam Khan and Mukhtar (Ansari)”, giving it the acronym ‘JAM’.
“For BJP, ‘J’ stands for ‘Jhooth’ (lie), ‘A’ stands for ‘Ahankaar(arrogance), and ‘M’ stands for ‘Mahangaai’ (inflation),” he said addressing a press conference in Kushinagar.
Yogi’s ‘Taliban’ comparison
Stepping up attack against the opposition, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath asserted that those who are raising the issue of partition are in a way supporting the Taliban.
His remark is seen as a veiled dig at the Samajwadi Party (SP). Om Prakash Rajbhar, the chief of the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an ally of the SP, had on Thursday blamed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the country’s partition, a day after saying India would have remained unified had Muhammad Ali Jinnah been made its first prime minister.
Earlier, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had equated Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, with Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru.
Addressing the Samajik Pratinidhi Sammelan in Lucknow, Adityanath said, “Those who are speaking about the partition are in a way extending support to the Taliban. As soon as the Taliban resurfaced in Afghanistan, a number of voices started to come up in its support. When strong action was taken, these voices went soft.”
“Supporting the Taliban means supporting a power that works against humanity, against Lord Buddha’s message of ‘maitri’ (friendship). Certain people are moving in that direction and we need to be aware of them,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)





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