Lucknow: A day after it was virtually left out being part of an anti-BJP alliance formed by the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress on Sunday declared it will contest all the 80 Lok Sabha seats from the state on its own.
However, the grand old party of India has kept the doors of a possible alliance open saying if any secular party which is competent to fight the BJP and willing to go with it (Congress), then it will be accommodated.
Speaking to reporters in Lucknow, party general secretary and UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "The Congress will contest on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, and defeat the BJP."
Azad also expressed hope that the Congress will double its tally of seats, which it had secured in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. During the parliamentary elections, the Congress had bagged 21 seats in the politically crucial state.
To a question whether his party will not forge a coalition with any political party, Azad said, "If any political party is willing to accompany the Congress, and the Congress feels that it can fight the BJP, then it will be definitely accommodated."
On Congress being left out of the SP-BSP alliance, the Congress general secretary said, "We wanted that Congress should have been a part of the grand alliance (against the BJP) in UP. But, if someone does not want to walk along, then nothing could be done."
On the post-poll alliance with the SP and BSP, Azad said that at the national level, the Congress welcomes all the secular regional parties.
Replying to another question on SP-BSP alliance, Azad said, "The Congress workers are not at all disappointed on being left out of the alliance. On the contrary, they are saying that the party would have had to contest on 25 Lok Sabha seats, but now they would be contesting on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats of the state."
On possibilities of an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal, Azad said that he would not like to speak to the media on this issue....