The Congress made it obvious on Tuesday that it plans to field candidates in the Yadav family strongholds of Mainpuri, Etawah and Kannauj. In 2009, Congress didn’t contest these seats and in return SP didn’t fight in Rae Bareli and Amethi, which are represented by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
State Congress chief Nirmal Khatri said party workers from the three districts met general secretary incharge of UP, Madhusudan Mistry, on Tuesday and raised objections against the party letting these seats go uncontested. While Mainpuri is represented by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Lok Sabha, daughter-in-law Dimple is the MP from Kannauj.
Etawah is the family’s native district and Mulayam’s younger brother Shivpal Yadav is an MLA from one of the assembly seats in the district.
Nirmal Khatri said he was also of the opinion that the Congress should contest the seats. Khatri said Mistry has also asked party workers to strenghthen the party organisation in these districts.
The Congress had contested only 63 of the 80 seats in UP in 2009. It left many seats uncontested in the Yadav family bastions. The SP chief reciprocated by not putting up any candidate against Sonia and Rahul in Rae Bareli and Amethi. This time too the SP despite declaring more than 65 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in UP, it has yet to name candidates from Rae Bareli and Amethi.
But the Congress it seems is not in a mood to return the favour any more under the captaincy of Rahul Gandhi who is said to favour an all out offensive against the SP. With Nirmal Khatri giving the first indication, the SP-Congress relation may face some turbulence ahead.