Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress Outlines UP Poll Strategy – Ready For Battle in All 80 Seats With 13 Rallies by Rahul Gandhi
File image of Rahul Gandhi with UP Congress chief Raj Babbar | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Lucknow, January 13: A day after being excluded by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) from their pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh, top Congress leaders in the state held a meeting to outline the party's election strategy for 2019. At the meeting chaired by Congress' UP in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad, it was decided to contest all 80 seats in the state.

The highlight of Congress' UP poll campaign will be 13 rallies, planned to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi in February. The party has categorised six Lok Sabha constituencies as 1 zone -- and the rallies of the Congress chief will be held in 13 zones each, reports citing top party sources confirmed. On SP-BSP Snub, Ghulam Nabi Azad Says 'Media Created Mahagathbandhan, Congress Never Talked About It'.

Azad, while addressing the press after the high-level party meeting in Lucknow, said the regional parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the political pundits will be surprised by the performance of the Congress in the upcoming polls.

"We will fight on all 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh in upcoming Lok Sabha elections. We are fully prepared. And just like Congress emerged no. 1 party in Uttar Pradesh in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, we'll fight on our own and win twice those number of seats in upcoming elections," Azad said.

Notably, the Congress had won 24 out of the 80 parliamentary seats in UP in 2009. The party, however, lost its momentum in 2014 -- when it was reduced to merely 2 seats.

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati had announced the seat-sharing pact on Saturday. The parties will contest on 38 seats each -- whereas, two seats have been left for their smaller ally - the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The alliance has also decided not to field any candidates in Amethi and Raebareli -- considered as the bastions of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.