UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. —PTI/File 17 Jan 2017 | 2:00 PM
LUCKNOW: Ending all speculations, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said that his party would enter into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav. Azad said the details about the same will be decided in the coming days.[ + read story ]
Tribune News Service
Lucknow, January 17
Ending all speculations, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said that his party would enter into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav.
Azad said the details about the same will be decided in the coming days.
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Azad's statement came after Sheila Dikshit stated that she would withdraw as the chief ministerial candidate if her party enters into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the high-stakes polls.
“Talks are on and the SP-Congress alliance will benefit Uttar Pradesh. I will do what the party high command decides,” she added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had admitted that talks were on for an alliance with the Congress for which announcement would soon be made from Lucknow in a "day or two".
"Decision on alliance (with Congress) will be taken in a day or two," he said, buoyed by the Election Commission's order recognising him as the president of the Samajwadi Party and allowing him to retain the 'bicycle' symbol.
He was responding to a question on the possibility of tying up with the Congress to crush communal politics during an informal chat with mediapersons at his residence here.
SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, a close aide of Akhilesh, expressed hope of a grand secular alliance to fight elections in the state.
Ramgopal said the final decision regarding forging an alliance with the Congress will be taken by Akhilesh, but he expressed hopes that it will happen.
"It is Akhilesh Yadav who will decide on the alliance. But I am hopeful it will happen," said Ramgopal, who has been a staunch supporter of Akhilesh during the intra-party tussle.
Giving enough indications that the Congress was willing for such a tie-up, its spokesman and former Union minister RPN Singh was among the first to hail the EC order, saying it showed that Akhilesh enjoyed "90 per cent support" in the organisation as also among SP legislators.
With the poll process set in motion after the issue of notification today, hectic efforts are underway to hammer out such an alliance, with the Congress being offered 90 to 100 seats by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which is also trying to rope in Ajit Singh's RLD as a junior partner.
Congress general secretary incharge of Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ramgopal Yadav from SP were said to be resolving some disputes over certain seats.
Uttar Pradesh has 403 Assembly constituencies where Akhilesh's party would be contesting the majority of seats. —With Agencies
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