UP poll result: What the Congress says
The Congress on Monday claimed that it will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government in Uttar Pradesh and dismissed as personal views Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma's suggestions for a tie-up with the Bahujan Samaj Party.
"We will cross the bridge when we come to it. The results have not yet come," Congress leader and Union minister Rajeev Shukla told reporters on the sidelines of an all-party meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament.
Rejecting as "hypothetical" suggestions that Rahul Gandhi needed to take the blame if the party performed poorly in Uttar Pradesh, Shukla said the party's performance will be "very good" and the results will lead to the revival of the party.
"To talk about the results before they are out is hypothetical. The Congress will have a crucial role in government formation (in UP)," he said.
Asked about Union Minister Beni Prasad Verma's comments on supporting BSP, Shukla said, "Those are not the party's views. He must have said that in his personal capacity."
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Image: Congress supporters sit next to flags with the party's logo
UP poll result: What the SP says
Speaking separately, Samajwadi Party leader Shailendra Kumar said that his party would form the government in UP even if "we get 165 seats".
"We will get a clear majority but even if we fall short of 20-25 seats, we will get support from secular parties. It is for the Congress to ponder over and decide," he said when asked whether the Congress will support it.
In an obvious reference to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, he said the SP has supported the Congress on several issues and also opposed it on some others and "we expect the same from the secular forces".
"We have fought this assembly election against the goondaism and corruption of BSP and SP. So, there is absolutely no question of aligning with the BSP at all," said Congress Member of Parliament P L Punia.
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Image: SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav
UP poll result: What the BJP says
Asked about Verma's comments, he said, "He (Verma) may have his personal opinion. The Congress is not subscribing to the views expressed by Verma. These are absolutely his personal views."
Punia and Verma are known rivals in UP politics. While Verma joined Congress after leaving SP, Punia was earlier the trusted lieutenant of Mayawati.
Verma, meanwhile, said even if the Congress stands fourth in UP, the "key to power" will be in its hands.
Leader of the Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj ruled out supporting any other party duirng government formation in Uttar Pradesh.
"Our party president has categorically said that we will either form the government or sit in the opposition," Swaraj said.
Image: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj
Every party has a DIFFERENT take
The comments by the leaders of the BJP, SP and the Congress came two days after the exit polls which gave a clear lead to SP.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav has said his father Mulayam Singh Yadav would be the chief minister in case the party gets to form the government.
But he parried questions on seeking the support of Congress or Rahul Gandhi in case the party falls short of numbers, maintaining that it all depends on the poll results.
The exit polls conducted by TV channels have projected SP in the lead in a hung House, while one channel has given Yadav's party a clear majority by predicting that it may get up to 210 seats in an assembly of 403 in UP.
Image: SP leader Akhilesh Yadav