The statement will not only provide a boost to any possible tie-up between these two parties but also send a strong message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP and Mayawati-led BSP.
Breaking silence on the possible Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said if any such electoral understanding takes place in the upcoming state assembly polls it would win over 300 seats. The statement will not only provide boost to any possible tie-up between these two parties but also send a strong message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP and Mayawati-led BSP. “Though samajwadis are going to form majority government in the state, but if alliance takes place, it will win over 300 (of the 403) seats. The final decision in this regard will be taken by party National president (Mulayam Singh Yadav),” he said when asked about possibility of his party’s alliance with Congress. If the alliance takes place, the multi-cornered will become even more interesting. Congress is banking on the ongoing cash crunch following PM Narendra Modi’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. Expecting a note-ban backlash against BJP, Congress has kept a back channel open for striking a pre-poll alliance or an understanding with Samajwadi Party for next years Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, a report said. Desperate to be counted in the power stakes in Uttar Pradesh where it ruled 27 years back, Congress leaders might settle for anything between 60-70 seats, including the 20 sitting MLAs it has in the state Assembly, the report said. Swept away to a distant fourth position, Congress leaders feel that its chances in the crucial state had dipped after the Narendra Modi government went public with the September 29 surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Akhilesh attacked Modi government for the demonetisation drive and predicted that the ongoing cash crisis in the country will not end soon. “People who were asking for 50 days, are now asking for 50 more days. This problem (cash crunch) will not end in 50 days. It will take at least one year for the situation to normalise,” the CM said, adding that people standing in queues for money these days would soon queue up at polling booths to vote out the BJP.
Downplaying controversy over ticket distribution in the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh said, “Tickets are changed till last moment. We will only field those who can win elections. I will give my suggestions and advice on assembly tickets to the party president.” To a specific query on tickets to gangster-turned- politician Mukhtar Ansaris brother and another mafia don Ateeq Ahmad, the chief minister parried a directly reply, saying hardships because of note ban was a bigger issue at present.
Amid the speculation for the creation of a grand alliance, Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who is preparing a road map for the party, had met Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Samajwadi Party had recently hinted about the alliance ahead of Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh scheduled next year. Both held a two-hour long meeting at Yadav’s Delhi residence.
Notably, Akhilesh has earlier maintained that any decision on a grand alliance for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will be taken by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.