The Congress Wednesday roped in a little known local outfit Mahan Dal in an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha polls. The announcement was made in the presence of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the newly appointed Congress general secretary for east Uttar Pradesh.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, another general secretary of the Congress looking after western UP, and Keshav Dev Maurya of the Mahan Dal announced the alliance at the state Congress.office here. "I welcome Keshav Maurya ji. We will fight the elections jointly. Rahul ji has given us the task of creating a political atmosphere in which everyone is taken along and all sections of the society are represented," Priyanka Gandhi said.
"We will contest with full might," she asserted. Maurya said, "The Congress has always thought about the welfare of Dalits and backward castes. It is the only party which thinks of taking everyone along with itself."
"At present, there is an atmosphere of anarchy in the entire state. The alliance between Congress and Mahan Dal will last long," he said. The Mahan Dal had forged an alliance with the Congress for the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
It had joined the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2014 but contested the 2017 UP Assembly elections separately. In the western Uttar Pradesh, the Mahan Dal contested three Lok Sabha seats of Badaun, Nagina and Etah, though it faced defeats in all these constituencies.
The Mahan Dal claims support from the OBC voters of the western UP, especially Shakyas, Mauryas and Kushwahas.