Uttar Pradesh elections: Samajwadi Party, Congress ink poll tie-up to take battle to BJP

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Lucknow | Published: January 23, 2017 1:55:15 AM

Ruling party to contest 298 of 403 seats and Congress the remaining 105

akhilesh-l-aniThe tie-up was announced at a joint press conference on Sunday in Lucknow by Congress state president Raj Babbar and his Samajwadi Party counterpart Naresh Uttam. (ANI)

After days of negotiation, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress on Sunday forged an alliance for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The ruling Samajwadi Party would contest in 298 seats in the 403-member assembly, while the Congress would contest in the remaining 105.

The tie-up was announced at a joint press conference on Sunday in Lucknow by Congress state president Raj Babbar and his Samajwadi Party counterpart Naresh Uttam. The decision was made following numerous rounds of discussion in the past couple of weeks. While the Congress was looking to take smaller allies like the Rashtriya Lok Dal on board, the Samajwadi Party was keen on an alliance with the Congress only.

It may be mentioned that talks between the two parties appeared to hit a dead end on Friday when the SP released its first list of candidates, which included those seats which presently have Congress MLAs.

According to sources, Congress was demanding at least 115 seats while SP was not keen on sharing more than 100.
To break the deadlock, back-channel discussions started from late Friday night. According to sources in the last 36 hours, the top leadership of Congress and SP which included Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi, with endorsement from Lalu Prasad, finally made the alliance happen.

In the joint press conference both Babbar and Uttam termed this alliance as a historic move to fight the communal politics of the BJP and form an alliance led by Akhilesh Yadav.

Though none of the parties have made it clear what would be the status of seats of Rae Bareli and Amethi, the pocketboroughs of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

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