Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday that the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance will continue for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that other secular parties will also be a part of this coalition.
When asked whether BSP will be part of this grand alliance, Azad said that they are asking all the secular parties to come together and fight the saffron party.
"The SP-Congress alliance will continue in 2019 Lok Sabha elections as our parties realise that if we want to strengthen the secular base of Uttar Pradesh, then we need to betogether," he told PTI.
"The secular parties suffered a loss during the 2014 elections and BJP gained from this and that is why they were able to win 73 seats in UP. However, if Congress, SP and RLD fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together, BJP will onlybe able to get 10-15 seats in the state," Azad said.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Azad said that even though he became the Prime Minister of the country, he still lacks the maturity, seriousness and gravity required forthe job.
"Perhaps that's why the quality of his speeches are getting lower and lower. I told him this in the Parliament as well that he should maintain the dignity of the office he isholding," Azad added.
Talking about the prospects of the SP-Congress alliance, Azad said the alliance is at "number one" in all the places where voting has taken place and added that he will campaignin the constituencies of the alliance candidates where thevoting will take place in the third phase.
He further said that he is confident that the alliance will get at least 275 seats in the polls and will form the government under the leadership of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Azad also targeted AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi saying that he is trying to split the Muslim vote through his emotional speeches.
"Muslims know that to vote for AIMIM is to vote for the BJP. The speciality of AIMIM is that they support the ruling party, whether it is Congress or BJP and the Muslims know this," he said.
While campaigning for SP candidate in Colonelganj locality on Wednesaday, Azad called Owaisi "an agent of the BJP" and said that he has nothing to do with the welfare schemes for the Muslims.
He claimed that Owaisi is in UP to divide the Muslim vote and has "taken hundreds of crore from BJP leaders" to do this.
"Earlier during the Bihar elections also Owaisi tried todivide the Muslim vote but Muslims there were smart and didn'tvote for his party," he added.
Azad said BSP is left alone in this election and that iswhy Mayawati has "two sets of teeth - one to show off and theother to chew with". "I was in western UP a while ago and I came across a videoclip in which Mayawati was saying that when she saw the Muslim votes drifting towards other parties, she transferred her votes to the BJP. This means that whenever a Muslim candidateis close to winning, she transfers her vote to the BJP," healleged.