The Congress's willingness to form an alliance should not be seen as its weakness, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid said on Tuesday, delivering a sharp message to the Akhilesh Yadav-Mayawati combo that has projected reluctance to include the Congress in a "mahagatbandhan" for Uttar Pradesh.
"Every party in this country is capable of fighting on its own but an alliance sometimes gives a greater advantage," Mr Khurshid told news agency ANI.
An alliance with other parties will help the party gain more strength and push the BJP out of power, said the senior Congress leader.
"The fact that we have an open mind for an alliance doesn't mean that we have a weakness. We can improve by an alliance and through it, we can improve the general theme of the grand alliance which is to try and push the BJP out of power," Mr Khurshid said.
Reports suggest that the Congress may be left out as Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party - rivals turned successful election partners - stitch up a grand alliance for the national election due by May. The reports also say the two parties will not field candidates in Gandhi strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Both the Samajwadi Party and BSP have officially denied any such decision. But Congress leaders, anticipating a snub, have been talking about going it alone in UP.
Mr Khurshid said, "An alliance can happen and if it happens it is good. If it is rational and reasonable and an objective alliance, even better."
The Congress leader added that the party cannot stop working because there may or may not be alliance.
"We have to continue preparing for the elections. We don't have a closed mind or heart. We just think what is best for the country. We can't force anyone for anything," he said.
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