Varanasi (UP): Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram Saturday said his party was ready to fight the Lok Sabha elections alone but hoped there would be a rethink on the SP-BSP alliance for Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress cannot be underestimated in Uttar Pradesh and will fight on its own strength if required, the former Union minister said after the two parties announced a seat-sharing pact, keeping the Congress out.
But he hoped that the agreement between Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati was not the final word.
As the elections approach, a truly broad-based alliance will be formed in Uttar Pradesh, Chidambaram said on the sidelines of a party event here.
Chidambaram said the goal was to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party and expressed hope that all secular, liberal parties would come together to fight the elections.
Earlier in Lucknow, the SP and BSP announced an alliance, under which they will fight 38 Lok Sabha seats each out of the 80 in the state.
They left Amethi and Rae Bareli – the two seats from where Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi contested last time – for the Congress.
Two other seats will be shared with smaller allies, the SP and the BSP announced.
Chidambaram was here to seek suggestions from the people on what to include in the Congress manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Asking a gathering of about 200 people to speak their minds, Chidambaram said his party was not the BJP and in Congress people from all walks of life are heard.
The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the “demolition” of some temples to make way for the Vishwanath temple corridor in Varanasi were among the issues discussed.