New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday cautioned opposition parties such as the SP and BSP against excluding the Congress from the alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 polls or making the party look like a "dwarf" in the state, saying such a move will be "myopic" and benefit the BJP. He also said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has given the message that "lets not get caught up" with the issue of opposition's prime ministerial candidate for now, as "collectively" winning the general election was the main focus.
Excluding Cong from UP alliance will be 'myopic', says Salman Khurshid
Khurshid said that this was "strategically" the best thing the Congress could have done to ensure that the BJP is not successful in creating gaps between the opposition parties as they work towards an alliance.
Khurshid, who has been Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief twice, asserted that parties should not write off the Congress in the state and it was important that it is part of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to take on the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 polls.
Asked about talk of Congress being given very few seats in Uttar Pradesh or excluded from the grand alliance, Khurshid said, "I would think it will be very myopic. I am not saying it because we stand to gain from the opposite view, but I think excluding the Congress or making Congress look (like a) dwarf in UP will be myopic."He said the BJP would also benefit if such a scenario pans out.Khurshid said that it should be kept in mind that the Congress had done well in the state in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
"And we did that, while we still were considerably behind them (the SP and BSP) in vote share because the big cities voted for us in a major way. Today, at the worst, we are 7 per cent and they (SP and BSP) are three times our vote share. But if we were to go out on our own, we are not going to be 7 per cent."