Lucknow: Amid statement by Samajwadi Party leaders of contesting the coming 2019 Lok Sabha elections alone in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has kept all options open for an alliance.
"The issue of pre-poll alliance would be decided by the central leadership as this would be national elections," said UP Congress president Raj Babbar here on Thursday.
"In the last assembly polls, it was a state matter and the state leadership was keen for the alliance with SP. But in the Lok Sabha polls it would be the sole decision of the central leadership," he said.
Talking to reporters here, Mr Babbar stressed that the 'dosti' (friendship) between the Congress and SP was still going strong and there is nothing as such of give and take between both the parties.
Earlier in the day, SP president Akhilesh Yadav had hinted of going alone in the Lok Sabha polls. But the SP leader also said they can have post-poll alliance with like-minded parties.
Mr Babbar also said the Congress was yet to decide on giving a joint candidate of the opposition in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha bypolls.
He also said Congress has done miracle in the past and in future too it will be repeated."We don't want a Lokpriya neta, but will base our campaign on Janpriya neta like Rahul Gandhi," he claimed.
However the Congress state president ridiculed the act of the UP government of holding the Gorakhpur mahatsov with pomp and show even as hundred of children died at the BRD medical college due to disruption in oxygen supply and death of several people due to hooch in Barabanki. Mr Babbar also questioned saffron painting of the toilets in Etawah.
How can a person paint the toilets in the colour of astha(faith)," he said.
When asked if former Congress president Sonia Gandhi will contest from Rae Bareli, he said, ''there is nothing as such that Ms. Gandhi will not contest from there.'' He said the party has started its preparation for the Lok Sabha polls and by next week a strategy would be drawn up. UNI