Does not rule out possibility of pre-poll alliance with Samajwadi Party: Congress

Does not rule out possibility of pre-poll alliance with Samajwadi Party: Congress.

New Delhi, Jan 14: The Congress on Friday said that it does not rule out the possibility of a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the state assembly elections.

“We are not ruling out anything. We are neither saying yes nor saying no. The Congress is ready and raring to go in each of the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh. All preparations are done and candidates are ready,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

“As far as alliances and adjustments are concerned, we understand and know that this is a highly evolving, rapidly transforming minute-to-minute situation. Therefore, in these circumstances, I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with any of the speculations,” he elaborated.

He said: “The correct thing to do is to wait for the opportune moment to let you know. But, let no one be in doubt about our preparedness and eagerness to enter the battle in the state.”

Talks for an alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party faction led by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were to revive after the Election Commission hearing on the Samajwadi Party’s election symbol.

The Election Commission on Friday reserved its verdict on allocation of the Samajwadi Party’s election symbol ‘cycle’ to one of the warring factions and is expected to announce its decision on Monday.

Meanwhile, an informed source within the Congress said the “alliance” is happening “99 per cent”.

According to Congress insiders, the alliance talks are “happening” but have been stalled temporarily due to the internal divide within the Samajwadi Party.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, the supremo and President of the Samajwadi Party, has not been supporting the idea of an alliance with any party.

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

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

Akhilesh had said an alliance with the Congress in the state could fetch them more than 300 of the 403 seats in the state assembly.

Uttar Pradesh — the country’s most populous and politically-significant state — will be electing its 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).

–IANS

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