State netas want Congress to get tougher on SP, BSP’

After being kept out of the anti-BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Congress is facing demands within the party for adopting a tougher posture against the two regional rivals as well as scouting for potential partnerships with other players.

Former UP MPs and senior party members have stated to the party high command that the Congress requires to look more aggressive, attack BSP leader Mayawati-SP chief Akhilesh Yadav combine and get some local but formidable players such as Shivpal Singh Yadav and Suheldev Bahujan Samaj Party president Om Prakash Rajbhar on board.

A former Congress MP, who did not wish to be identified, told ET, “Congress was taken by surprise. It had no plan. Forget Plan B, it did not have Plan A. It is time we pulled up our socks and looked aggressive.”

Former Lok Sabha member RPN Singh alleged, “We have a Plan B. Congress needs to reach out to other political parties and form an alliance to put up a good fight.”

As per the party’s internal analysis, if it gets Shivpal Singh Yadav on its side it can put up a fight in Agra, Ferozabad, Etah, and Etawah. “He has localized presence and can swing seven-10 seats. But in such a dire scenario, there is some hope,” said another MP, who did not wish to be identified.

UP Congress members stated the party high command should actively woo parties such as Peace Party and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal as well by offering them more seats than the SP-BSP combine is offering them.