Congress signals willingness to field common candidates against BJP

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New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) With a combined opposition having defeated the BJP in Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana Lok Sabha and some other bypolls, the Congress has decided to step up efforts to prevent division of anti-BJP votes by seeking to identify the strongest candidate in each seat in the forthcoming electoral contests.

Party sources said the informal talks are underway to find a common ground with opposition parties even as the party has embarked on the process to identify candidates in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

According to the sources, committees are likely to be formed in every state to identify the strongest candidate of the united opposition in each constituency in forthcoming elections and the strategy will differ from state to state.

A party leader said the Congress has to be more “accomodative” in seat sharing.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the main objective in the upcoming elections will be to prevent vote division of the anti-BJP votes.

“There is no one-size-fits all approach at all. There is no blanket approach at all. The basic objective remains the same whether it is this part or that part of the country.

“Whether you call it a formal alliance or strategic seat adjustment, or you call it understandings, the basic objective everywhere, whether it is bi-polar states or triangular or quadrangular states, is to prevent vote division of the anti-BJP votes. This is what the BJP is terrified about,” he said.

“This is what you have seen in every election from Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka or any other states. BJP has benefitted from division of votes. But how we will do it, what we will do, you will find it on a state-to-state basis.

“You may find state X may differ from state Y, but it will be achieving that one single object of prevention of vote division,” he added.

On Samajwadi Party saying the opposition parties should field a common candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi in 2019 election, Singhvi said: “Too early days as yet, but I do not see any reason to doubt the principle and the spirit to what has been said.”

“I do not want to go in to the details. It is early but you must read the spirit. I think it is the spirit. I am not talking about the names. I am talking spirit behind it,” he added.



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