The Congress Core Group's meeting, which took place on Tuesday here at 15, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road, had a detailed discussion on the preparedness for the coming Lok Sabha elections among other political issues.
Sources said the meeting discussed the coming together of Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh, where they have decided to contest 38 seats each out of a total of 80, while on two seats-Amethi and Rae Bareli-they have decided not to put up their candidates. They have also kept two seats for smaller parties.
According to sources, the meeting which went on for nearly three hours also discussed the prevailing political situation in Karnataka, where the BJP and Congress-JDS leaders are accusing each other of poaching their MLAs.
Sources said the Core Group would meet again to discuss further the party's roadmap for the coming Lok Sabha polls. Since Congress president Rahul Gandhi is out of the country, the Core Group did not take any call either on "Uttar Pradesh or any other major issues related to the Lok Sabha elections."
Congress Core Group consists of party president Rahul Gandhi, former Defence Minister AK Antony, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, General Secretary KC Venugopal, General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, P Chidambaram, Randeep Singh Surjewala, and others.
"The discussion also took place on how to strengthen the party at the booth level, galvanising the party cadres for the Lok Sabha polls, strategy for retaining the edge in the states where the party won recently held Assembly polls," sources said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already said that his party would fight with "full force" in Uttar Pradesh to defeat the BJP and its ally-Apna Dal, which had won 73 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The party's UP affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad has also spoken about an extensive campaign plan for the state and over a dozen rallies are expected to be addressed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in February.
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