Congress miffed with SP after Bageshwar byelection debacle, calls for reciprocity

Fault lines emerged within the Opposition, after the SP fielded its own candidate in the Bageshwar byelection, thus ensuring an easy victory for the BJP

Updated - September 26, 2023 12:12 pm IST

Published - September 14, 2023 11:29 pm IST - Lucknow

Samajwadi Party workers celebrate the victory of party candidate Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi constituency byelection, File

Samajwadi Party workers celebrate the victory of party candidate Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi constituency byelection, File | Photo Credit: PTI

After a stellar victory in the Ghosi byelection in Uttar Pradesh, fault lines within the newly formed Opposition bloc, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), came to fore as the Uttar Pradesh Congress on Thursday said that the Samajwadi Party (SP) leadership must help with defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in neighbouring states as well.

“We supported the SP wholeheartedly in Ghosi, and our rank and file campaigned extensively for the joint Opposition candidate, resulting in the victory of INDIA alliance by a big margin. But in the neighbouring Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar assembly byelection, the SP contested, despite having no base in the region. In a fight against the BJP, the SP must show a big heart like the Congress party, which is ready for any sacrifice to unseat the BJP in 2024,” told Anil Yadav, organisational secretary, U.P. Congress, told The Hindu.

Along with the Ghosi assembly byelection, the neighbouring Uttarakhand, which was carved out of U.P. in 2000, also witnessed a byelection in the Bageshwar Vidhan Sabha seat where the BJP’s candidate Parwati Das defeated the grand-old-party’s Basant Kumar by 2,405 votes.

In the byelection, the SP also fielded Bhagwati Prasad who garnered 637 votes.

Since the result came out, the Congress has been attacking the SP for not following the coalition dharma. U.P. Congress chief Ajay Rai went so far as to say that the SP should not be under the illusion that it has won Ghosi on its own and there is a difference between the words and actions of the SP.

Congress leaders said that the challenge in U.P., politically the most significant State in India with 80 Lok Sabha seats, is enormous. The Congress leadership added that a dedicated and united effort in the State should be reciprocated by the SP in other States.

“We have put a united show across the country. If Congress is sacrificing, it should be reciprocated by other parties,” added Mr. Yadav.

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