Samajwadi Party to Contest 65 UP Lok Sabha Seats, INDIA 15: Sources

New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party will contest 65 of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 Lok Sabha seats in next year’s general election, party sources said Thursday, adding that a list of potential candidates
is nearly finalised. The remaining 15 will be divided between the Congress and other INDIA members, sources added. However, in an apparent swipe at the INDIA bloc, sources also
said the party is ready to fight the BJP on its own should the opposition’s attempt at a united front fail. If INDIA is alive and kicking next year, the Samajwadi Party will not, crucially, field
candidates in Raebareli – held by Congress veteran Sonia Gandhi – and Amethi – which was held by the Congress from 1999 to 2014, before the BJP’s Smriti Irani shocked Rahul Gandhi in 2019 to
win the seat. The announcement comes amid tension with the Congress over seat-sharing in Madhya Pradesh. Last month Samajwadi Party boss Akhilesh Yadav claimed that an agreement
with the Congress – that his party would contest six of the state’s 230 seats was ignored. “If I knew, we wouldn’t have spoken to Congress,” he said, adding to buzz INDIA is on the brink of collapse
over seat-sharing squabbles. Speculation over how united the INDIA group is in its resolve to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha poll has been rife in recent weeks,
and was ramped up today after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar blamed the Congress for delaying prep work before the national election. Addressing a Communist Party of India rally in Patna, Nitish Kumar remarked with a chuckle, “We have been speaking to them… pushing them forward in INDIA alliance. But, of late, there has not been much progress on that front.
The Congress seems to be more interested in the five assembly polls.” Apart from Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is in power, Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh vote this month.
Telangana, where Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s Bharat Rashtra Samithi (not an INDIA member) is in power, will also vote, as will Mizoram, where the BJP is part of the government.

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