Cong 'optimistic' of grand alliance in UP for LS polls: Raj Babbar

Lucknow
23 Sep 2018

Undeterred by the BSP's recent alliance in Chhattisgarh and declaration of seats for Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar said Sunday his party is "optimistic" of a grand alliance in the state for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
He told PTI the people want the opposition to contest the general elections in Uttar Pradesh together.  "In the present scenario, irrespective of the party and pressures they might be having from their voters, we have to unitedly contest the Lok Sabha polls," Babbar said. "In the Lok Sabha elections in UP, I'm optimistic of a grand alliance...Lok Sabha elections are at the national level and there are only two forces. I'm not saying that there are only two parties but there are only two ideologies. One is of Gandhiji on which the Congress runs and other is of the RSS which is in search of credibility," he said.
Babbar claimed the RSS was searching for credibility since 1924 and it had no identity.  "They are having a majority government but still Hindus and Muslims are being made to realise their differences. They (BJP) said they got a big majority and have reduced everyone (all other parties) to zero. But, can they bring destroy our ideology completely," he asked.
Referring to a three-day conclave held by the RSS at Vigyan Bhavan in Delhi, the Congress leader alleged the Sangh misused the government and for the first time Vigyan Bhavan was used for a non-government programme. "It's a big lie that they did not take anything from the BJP but only gave advice," he said.
Replying to a question, he claimed Congress president Rahul Gandhi was not invited for the recent RSS event. The Congress leader said, "A threat is being posed to all of us (by the BJP). We have to face it unitedly."
On being asked to comment on open criticism of the Congress by BSP chief Mayawati on petrol and diesel prices and other issues, Babbar said, "The BSP is a party, it might have an opinion. It also ran government in the state. If state government wants it can reduce petrol/diesel prices."
Last week, Mayawati had held both the previous UPA government and the BJP responsible for the rise in petrol and diesel prices, taking the Congress by surprise. "We will never say what our government did and what was done during the BSP or the SP regime. We don't want to answer allegations and make counter allegations. At this juncture, we should not point fingers at each other as people have a lot of expectations from us. We have to fulfil them unitedly," he said.
The actor-turned-politician said it was easy for him to respond but in such a situation he did not want to do it and said many time silence was also a response.
On Congress' preparations for the 2019 polls, he said, "Our party is mass-base party and we are there for them at the time of their need. We will contest polls with full strength." (PTI)