Lucknow: Former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav Tuesday said that the Congress party thought that Samajwadi Party was weak and in order to form an alliance with his party and Mayawati‘s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rahul Gandhi will need to speak to both of them.

Speaking at a press conference in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur Tuesday, Yadav claimed that his party wanted an alliance with the Congress but the latter “felt” the SP was “weak”. Yadav further said that as a larger outfit, it was Congress party’s responsibility to bring smaller parties under one umbrella.

“We wanted an alliance with the Congress but the oldest political party felt that we are weak. Now, an alliance can be formed only when the Congress talks to the BSP along with SP,” Yadav said. Yadav said that his party once had eight MLAs in the MP Assembly and its vote share was also good.

Yadav’s statements came hours after Mayawati opened up about her decision to rule out an alliance with the Congress for the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Assembly Elections 2018 saying that the party would rather fight alone than begging for seats in a coalition.

Speaking to the party workers, the BSP chief said, “That is why the BSP has put forth the condition of being given a respectable number of seats to enter into an electoral alliance.” Earlier, accusing the Congress of finishing her party, she announced that BSP will not be pairing up with Cong in MP and Rajasthan.

Announcing her decision to break away from the proposed alliance, Mayawati said, “The Congress is two steps ahead of the BJP in attempts to finish the BSP. We have decided that the party would not ally with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan at any cost.” When she was asked if BSP will align with Congress in Lok Sabha polls, she said, “I have said everything about this.”