SP says no alliance with RLD, tie-up only with Congress

Lucknow, Jan 19 (IANS) The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday ruled out any alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for the upcoming state assembly polls and said a pre-poll alliance is being finalised with the Congress party.

Confirming that there will be no grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh on the lines of Bihar, Samajwadi Party’s national vice-president Kironmoy Nanda said: “The alliance is only happening with the Congress. Talks are done. We will announce it in a day or two.

“The election in Uttar Pradesh is very important. Our aim is not just 2017 but also 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This is why we have allied with the Congress,” he said.

“Akhilesh Yadav will again become the Chief Minister. Alliance with the Congress will further strengthen us and our aim will be 2019. The Samajwadi Party will get absolute majority in UP,” he added.

Party leaders here were finalising the names of candidates for the first and second phase of elections. The SP will be contesting 300 seats, while the Congress will be given 100-103 seats.

Sources confirmed that the SP was earlier not ready to give more than 75 seats to its alliance partner. But after it shied away from tying up with Ajit Singh-led RLD, it gave that share of the seats also to the Congress.

A senior SP leader told IANS that the party leadership, including SP National President and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were not in favour of allying with the RLD.

The party’s manifesto was finalised and it was expected that the list of candidates will be declared in the next 2-3 days.

Earlier, a pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh was being envisaged on the lines of the grand alliance in Bihar, with the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) as its constituents.

Uttar Pradesh — the country’s most populous and politically significant state — will elect a new 403-seat 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).

–IANS

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