Congress, Akhilesh-led SP alliance talks to revive after EC hearing

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Talks for an alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party faction led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav are likely to revive after the Election Commission hearing on the SP party symbol, according to Congress sources.

The Election Commission will hear on Friday the Samajwadi Party’s two warring factions, led by party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, and his son Akhilesh Yadav, to settle the dispute over control of the party and its election symbol of ‘cycle’.

According to sources in the Congress, the alliance talks were “happening” but had temporarily stalled due to the internal divide within the Samajwadi Party.

“The alliance will most likely happen. The talks are on. It will revive after the Election Commission hearing on their (SP) symbol on January 13. The talks are going on with Akhilesh Yadav,” said a Congress leader.

Mulayam Singh Yadav has not been supporting the idea of an alliance with any party.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had earlier said she favoured a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav, and that she is ready to step aside as Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh.

Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor has also met both Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, adding to the alliance speculation.

Akhilesh had said alliance with Congress in UP could fetch them more than 300 of the state’s 403 seats.

Uttar Pradesh — the country’s most populous and politically significant state — will go to elect its 403-member state assembly in seven phases: February 11 (73 seats), February 15 (67 seats), February 19 (69 seats), February 23 (53 seats), February 27 (52 seats), March 4 (49 seats) and March 8 (40 seats).