Lucknow, Jan 17: The stage is set for the grand alliance between the ruling Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to announce the alliance, along with the details of the seat-sharing arrangement among the three parties. Both the Congress as well as Samajwadi Party have confirmed the alliance even as the official announcement is awaited.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav have confirmed that the alliance will happen even as Akhilesh Yadav asked the media to wait for the official announcement.
What the seat-sharing may look like
According to sources, the Congress will get 89 seats out of 403. Sources say another 14 candidates selected by UP CM Akhilesh Yadav may contest on the Congress symbol.
The deliberations are on regarding the number of seats that the RLD is demanding to contest the elections. The RLD is demanding 30 seats but Akhilesh is ready to give 20 seats to the party, according to sources.
It is most likely that the Congress has accepted this arrangement under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the alliance will take the state of Uttar Pradesh on the path to progress. Congress leader and actor Raj Babbar was also present at the Press Conference.
“Details about it will be decided in coming days, for now we can say that there will be a Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav,” Azad said.
Akhilesh Yadav had earlier said that he will form a Bihar-like grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh. When asked about this, Azad said, “As of now it is alliance of the Congress and SP, will think about ‘maha-gathbandhan’ in the coming days.”
‘Alliance of the rejected and dejected’
While the SP, Congress and RLD gear up for the alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party has called it an alliance of ‘rejected’ and ‘dejected’ people. Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu today dubbed it as a “natural alliance” of the “rejected and dejected” people.
“Both of them together formed disorderly allies during UPA regime and ruined the country. Now they want to experiment UPA two in Uttar Pradesh. Best of Luck to them,” Naidu told reporters.
Naidu also added that people did not want the SP government in the state because they have experienced “corruption, torture of women, lawlessness and no development” during its regime.
Congress workers miffed
Meanwhile, some Congress workers are miffed at the party’s decision of allying with the Samajwadi Party for the forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh.
Minutes after the Congress confirmed its alliance with the Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, a faction of the party’s workers came out protesting outside the party headquarters in New Delhi. Congress workers raised slogans like ‘Gathbandhan thukrao, UP bachao (Reject alliance, save UP)’. The workers also demanded that Congress campaigner Priyanka Gandhi be brought to the forefront in Uttar Pradesh.
“The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are a big election for Rahul Gandhi. With this alliance, the Congress will lose out a chance in the 2019 elections,” said one of the party workers protesting outside the AICC headquarters.
The official announcement is expected soon as Uttar Pradesh goes to the first phase of Assembly elections on February 11. Uttar Pradesh will have seven-phase polling beginning from February 11 and last phase polling on March 8. The counting of votes and results will be declared on March 11.