National Conference says no to meeting with Election Commission team

Cheryl Sanders
March 14, 2019

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Tuesday cleared all the speculations on the party's tie-up with Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls stating that the party will have no truck with Congress. She said several parties wanted to enter into an alliance with the BSP, but the party would not take any step "which is not in the interest of BSP movement" just for "petty electoral gains".

This newspaper had on March 9 reported exclusively that Mr Shinde and Ms Dutt have been shortlisted as candidates for Lok Sabha polls from Maharashtra. The alliance has, however, decided not to field candidates from the Congress strongholds of Rae Bareli and Amethi.

The Congress on Wednesday declared 21 nominees in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra including the Nagpur parliamentary constituency from where senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari will be contesting.

The SP and the BSP recently forged an alliance on 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

The Opposition Congress, on the other hand, is trying to cash in on issues like unemployment, Rafale, rural distress and also roped in Priyanka Gandhi, the sister of party president Rahul Gandhi, in January to formally lead the party in eastern UP where the parliamentary constituency (Varanasi) of Modi is also located. She said the alliance was "first and perfect", and capable of defeating the BJP. In Uttarakhand, the SP will contest one seat and the BSP will contest the remaining four seats. He also slammed the Congress for its "dyansty politics", alleging the party has a culture of "use and throw".

When contacted, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the two leaders met to discuss joint public meetings and rallies, being planned for the Lok Sabha polls.

The code of conduct came into effect on March 10, when the EC announced the schedule of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections.

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