Lucknow: After many twists and amidst unprecedented rumors, Samajwadi Party and the Congress have sealed an unlikely looking alliance in UP before crucial assembly elections. Yesterday, news reports suggested a complete breakdown of negotiations between the Congress party and the SP leadership headed by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Nonetheless, it has emerged now that the difference was actually small and Congress was seeking 105 seats instead of 100 seats that the SP was ready to give. The issue of 5 seats was made to look far too big to digest.
There were also reports that Chief Minister, who himself was in favor of the alliance to keep his hope of returning back to power, was not taking call from Congress Vice President Akhilesh Yadav. This seems laughable as it has now emerged that the Congress and Samajwadi Party leadership was in regular contact and there was never any breakdown in communication.
The two parties, in a joint press conference, formally announced the alliance. Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party will contest 298 seats and the Congress the remaining 105. The voting for 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly will be held over seven phases.
While speaking at a press conference, Raj Babbar, the state Congress chief said, “A pre-election tie-up is a historical decision and will herald a new beginning for the development of Uttar Pradesh. The Congress and the SP will contest all the 403 together to defeat the communal forces”.
While talking about the alliance further Raj Babbar said a common minimum programme would be drafted within a week for government formation.
Reports suggest that the grand old party was actually looking at least 120 seats. The SP offered 115 to be shared with other parties, which left the Congress with only 80 seats, sources said. The stalemate was broken following Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s intervention, sources said. After several rounds of talks, the top leaders of both the parties finalised the seat-sharing arrangement in the early hours of Sunday.
Meanwhile an important find of the forthcoming elections in UP is Priyanka Gandhi. She has been brought to the politics finally. To be true, she has been directly dealing with Akhilesh Yadav. The Congress was learnt to be asking for seats in the Amethi and Rae Bareli segments of the Lok Sabha constituencies represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. It was not immediately known if the SP had accepted the demand. Things are set to become clear in the next few days.
Despite the Congress and Samajwadi Party alliance being in place, many people are skeptical if it will deliver and the two parties will be able to succeed in their stated goal of defeating the BJP.