There is already a visible tussle for negotiating seats between the Congress and Samajwadi Party just a day after the successful grand alliance of the two parties for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. All India Congress Committee general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday said that this could take a hundred hours. The alliance was supposed to be between Congress, SP and Rashtriya Lok Dal, but RLD has not announced its alliance officially yet. Sources said that the two parties have given each other a list of non-negotiable candidates. Some of the seats eyed by Congress have sitting SP MLAs. Congress said that they are promised 40 out of 140 seats in the first two phases of the polls which happen next month. SP has listed 290 non-negotiable seats and 15 non-negotiable seats are present in the list of both the parties.
SP sources told Indian Express that they will offer 80-85 seats to the Congress, whereas, Congress is pushing the number to 100. A senior Congress leader said that they are not getting seats of their choices. Congress has its eye on a seat which is promised to SP’s Aparna Yadav, wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger son Prateek. The most contentious seats which are “non-negotiable”include a segment in Bachhrawan reserved constituency in Rae Bareilly and Amethi Assembly seat. Rae Bareilly and Amethi are Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituencies. Seven of the 10 seats in Rae Bareilly and Amethis have sitting SP MLAs. Unnao, Bangararmau and Bhagwantnagar are also claimed by both the parties. Congress feels that they have better chances of winning in these districts.
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RLD is also stuck over the debate of seat sharing. They have been offered 15 whereas they are look at double the number. SP and Congress want to resolve their seat sharing business first before moving on to others. Krishna Patel’s Apna Dal faction has also shown interest now in an alliance with the grand alliance.