SP president Akhilesh Yadav seeks seats in three other states for UP pact with Congress

New Delhi: The Samajwadi Party (SP) is looking to impose new conditions on the Congress for a crucial Opposition alliance in Uttar Pradesh ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections, even as senior leaders from both sides are in touch to hammer out differences.
Senior SP leaders indicated that the party’s rank and file wants seats from the Congress in the assembly poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in exchange for a pact in UP, where the party already has an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Earlier the BSP, too, demanded a pan-India pact with the Congress as the two sides were negotiating alliances in the poll-bound states. Party chief Mayawati eventually picked Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh over the Congress in Chhattisgarh, and has announced candidates for 22 seats in Madhya Pradesh. Congress leaders, however, have not given up hopes of a wider alliance with the BSP.
Leaders from the SP and the Congress also maintain that they are hoping to hammer out a deal in the coming weeks.
Talking to reporters in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol on September 29, Akhilesh Yadav, put the onus of stitching together a deal on the Congress. “It is the responsibility of the Congress to see how the people with similar ideology can come together.”
On September 30, Nanda said that the SP has as a strong foothold in some areas of the poll-bound states. “If you (Congress) want unity, it has to be other states too where we want to have a share in the alliance. Unity can’t be a one-way traffic that will happen on in UP at the convenience of the Congress,” he quipped.
A tie-up in other states may help the SP get a few more seats. On the other hand, they don’t have much to lose if Congress doesn’t have an alliance with them in UP,” he said.

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