New Delhi: Congress, BJP and SP today
welcomed the announcement of seven-phase elections in Uttar
Pradesh but ruled out any more pre-poll alliances, each
claiming it will come to power on its own steam.
Samajwadi Party, which stood second in the 2007
elections with 98 seats, said the people of Uttar Pradesh are
fed up of Mayawati-led BSP and want a change of guard.
In Lucknow, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav said, "We will not
go for any alliance now. People of UP, be they from the
backward or the forward castes, should give Samajwadi Party a
He insisted his cycle yatra throughout the state had
propelled the party to the centrestage and others were
"thousands of kilometres behind us".
SP also clarified that it was not against modernisation
and use of computers- a charge levelled against the party
during the last Assembly elections when its manifesto said
computers and English were not welcome.
"SP is not against English. We have said that computers
should use Hindi or Urdu or even English," he said.
Taking on his political adversaries, Yadav said while
BJP had transferred its vote to BSP in the past, BSP itself
has governed badly and made people angry.
"Congress is also responsible for problems in the state
relating to power, water and farmers. We are having difficulty
in explaining 2G scam to farmers and labourers," he said.
BJP welcomed the announcement but hit out at BSP for
its "misrule" in UP.
"Had the law and order situation been better in UP, I
think the Election Commission would not have announced a seven
phase schedule," former party president Rajnath Singh said.
BJP also demanded that the Election Commission remove
those top bureaucrats and police officials who are close to
Chief Minister Mayawati, accusing them of working as BSP
"We will fight the elections in Uttar Pradesh on the
issues of corruption and crime which have increased manifold
under Mayawati`s rule. However, the BJP feels free and fair
polls in the politically crucial state of UP are not possible
till police officers and top bureaucrats are removed from key
postings," BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
He demanded that these officials, who have conducted
themselves as "spokespersons and agents of BSP" in the last
four and half years should be removed from key postings.
He said UP Cabinet Secretary and DGP were among them.
BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad maintained
that the time has come for people of UP to "get rid of the
troika of Congress, BSP and SP who are friends in need and
deed in Delhi but maintain a facade of opposition in Lucknow".
He charged that these three parties are representatives
of misrule, corruption and non-development".
Hailing the poll schedule, Congress said it is raring to
go and claimed the exercise will again show it is the only
"The Congress is raring to go. It is fit as a fighting
machine. It will show yet again that it is the only pan-Indian
party with a strong presence in every nook and corner of the
country," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.
Congress UP unit chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi welcomed
"preponing" of the polls and claimed the "winds of change
blowing in UP are in its favour".