NEW DELHI: The Congress party, which had earlier announced its intentions to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday announced that it will leave vacant seven seats for Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).

“We are leaving seven seats vacant for SP, BSP and RLD. These include Mainpuri, Kannauj, Firozabad and whatever seats Mayawati ji and RLD’s Jayant ji and Ajit Singh contest from. We will also give two seats to Apna Dal – Gonda and Pilibhit,” Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Raj Babbar told reporters.

The Congress was left out of the grand alliance in the state after BSP, SP and RLD decided to contest the upcoming general elections together. Soon after the decision of the regional parties, Congress declared that it will contest the Lok Sabha polls in the state on all 80 seats.

Babbar also announced that the Congress has also worked out a deal with Mahan Dal. The party founded by Keshav Dev Maurya will contest on the Congress symbol.

“We had talked to Mahan Dal earlier. They had said they were fine with whatever seats we give them, all they wanted was to contest Vidhan Sabha election. For Lok Sabha elections they had said they’ll contest on our symbol. We’ll find out a way to work with them,” Babbar added.

The party has also worked out a deal for seven seats with the Jan Adhikar party (JAP). As per the terms of the alliance, the JAP will get to contest on five seats, while the Congress will field its candidate on the remaining two seats.

The Congress party released its first list on March 7, declaring the candidature of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli and Congress president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi. The list of 15 candidates included 11 from Uttar Pradesh and four from Gujarat.

The second list of 21 candidates was released on Wednesday, which includes Priya Dutta from Mumbai North-Central Lok Sabha seat, and UP party unit chief Raj Babbar from Moradabad.

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