The regional parties kept the Congress out of the alliance. However, the parties said they would not field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
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Addressing a joint press conference in Lucknow, SP President Akhilesh Yadav and BSP Chief Mayawati said “This…will rob ‘guru-chela’ — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah — of their sleep.”
Referring to the BJP’s defeat in Phulpur, Gorakhpur and Kairana parliamentary bypolls, Mayawati said “I have full confidence that just as our alliance defeated the BJP in the Lok Sabha bypolls, we will crush the saffron party in the general elections.”
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On Congress’s exclusion from the alliance, she said that during the Congress rule over the years, poverty, unemployment and corruption grew and there had been scams in various defence deals. She also said that in case of a tie-up with the Congress in the past, the party did not benefit.
In 2014, the BJP had won 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh while its ally Apna Dal bagged two. The Samajwadi Party won 5 seats and the Congress two, while the BSP drew a blank.