Uttar Pradesh Congress in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad Wednesday dropped hints of accommodating more players as he said his party was willing to give a few seats to those who wanted to forge an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to reporters here, he noted, "On two to four seats, there could be 'give and take', but at present, we are making preparations for contesting on all the 80 seats in the state". In a significant move, BSP and SP, part of Opposition's Grand Alliance, had recently announced their tie-up in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls, sharing 38 seats each and keeping the Congress out of the alliance.
On reports that the Congress was kept out of the BSP-SP combine as it was "weak", Azad hit back, "When elections are held, it will be known who is strong and weak". The Congress had on January 13 declared that it will contest on all the 80 Lok Sabha seats from the politically crucial state on its own. The senior Congress leader also expressed hope that his party will double its tally of seats. It won only two seats from the state in the 2014 general elections and 19 seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. On whether the Congress will forge a coalition with other political players, Azad said, "If any political party is willing to accompany the Congress, and the Congress feels that it can fight the BJP, it will be definitely accommodated".
(With inputs from agencies.)