With the Election Commission on Monday recognising the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led faction as the Samajwadi Party and allotting it the ‘cycle’ symbol, the Congress says it is keen to contest at least 100 seats in a pre-poll grand alliance in the state. A pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh is being envisaged on the lines of the grand alliance in Bihar, with the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) as its constituents.
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A Congress leader said that the party is keen on contesting at least 100 seats if a grand alliance takes shape in Uttar Pradesh. Rajya Sabha member Ram Gopal Yadav after the EC decision said that while he has no “definitive information” on any alliance with the Congress and other like-minded parties, the Akhilesh Yadav faction has all its options open.
The Samajwadi Party formally split on January 1 when the Akhilesh faction ousted Mulayam Singh as its President. Both factions then petitioned the Election Commission claiming the ‘cycle’ symbol. After some two weeks of bitter fighting, the poll panel — which heard both sides for hours on Friday — on Monday decided in favour of Akhilesh Yadav. Congress party’s chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh Sheila Dikshit on Monday said she would step down if asked to.