Desperate Congress announces alliance with SP in UP; Akhilesh yet to agree
Chandigarh: Fast-vanishing Congress is desperate to at least get some crumbs in the Utter Pradesh elections with Yadav clans help. Efforts to form a “grand secular alliance” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh went into top gear on Tuesday with the Congress declaring that it has decided to tie up with Samajwadi Party and the shape of the formation would be announced in the next two days.
“I am confident that the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance will form the next government in Uttar Pradesh,” AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters confirming about the much talked about the tie up.
Azad, who is in charge of party affairs in UP, said this was just a beginning of the alliance process and the nitty gritty would be decided in the next one or two days.
He was asked whether it would be a grand secular alliance also comprising Ajit Singh’s RLD.
At the AICC briefing later, party coordinator for UP Meem Afzal spoke in similar vein. “Congress will have an alliance with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh. The details of the arrangement will be announced in the next two days,” he said.
Congress announcement came close on the heels of reports from Lucknow where SP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said a decision on tying up with the Congress will be taken 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 Samajwadi Party and allowing him to retain the ‘bicycle’ symbol.
Talks about such an alliance had intensified since last week when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had significantly remarked at the ‘Jan Vedna Sammelan’ that the elections in the key state will be an “exciting affair”.
The refrain in several opposition parties including the Congress and the SP was that the Narendra Modi-led BJP should be stopped in Uttar Pradesh as the electoral outcome would have a major bearing on the next Lok Sabha polls.
SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, a close aide of Akhilesh, expressed hope of a grand secular alliance to fight elections in the state.