New Delhi: The grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh is all set to take shape with the Congress taking the first step on Tuesday to claim that it has decided to tie up with the Samajwadi Party and that the formation of the alliance would be announced in a couple of days.
In Lucknow, Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav echoed the sentiment, saying the decision on an alliance with the Congress would be taken “in a day or two”.
Speaking to the media in Delhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC general secretary in-charge of UP, said he was “confident that the SP-Congress alliance will form the next government in Uttar Pradesh.”
The Congress’ chief ministerial face in UP, Shiela Dikshit, bowed out of the race in favour of the alliance and for the “greater good”.
Following Mr Yadav’s victory in getting the party symbol, and his alliance with the Congress, the BJP played the dynasty card and called it an alliance between “two princes” (Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav).
SP may offer 135 seats to allies
The grand alliance between the Samajwadi Party, Congress and the RLD marks a new chapter in Indian politics as it will be the next generation of leaders who will be taking on the BJP and BSP.
While Akhilesh Yadav would lead the charge, he would be flanked by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and RLD leader Jayant Chowdhury. Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple and Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would share the platform.
This formidable combination has spooked the saffronites, who are now pointing fingers at the BJP high command for its “failure” to project a “credible” face as the chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP has dubbed this alliance as a club of princes. “Coming together of the SP and the Congress shows the desperation of Akhilesh Yadav, who smells defeat… Akhilesh along Rahul Gandhi and RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary are coming together to promote their family rule,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.
Chief minister’s uncle and close aide Ram Gopal Yadav and Ghulam Nabi Azad are holding parleys over seat sharing.
The SP is expected to offer to nearly 135 seats to its allies, which include other smaller outfits. Of the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress might be able to get around 100, while the RLD could be offered nearly 25.
The RLD is waiting in the wings to join the grand alliance. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said he would take Mulayam Singh Yadav along, describing the ties with his father and the SP founder as “unbreakable”.
Poll Date: February 11
Last date of filing
Nomination: Jan 24
Withdrawal: Jan 27
73 constituencies in 15 Muslim dominated districts
Gautam Buddha Nagar
Aligarh are some of the important districts
2.57 crore voters
24.25 lakh voters in 18-19 age group