UP Elections 2017: SP-Congress alliance on the brink of collapse over seat distribution

The Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls is reportedly on the verge of collapse, even as Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azaad and a special emissary of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were holding talks with the SP to thrash out issues.

News agency ANI quoted Samajwadi Party sources to report that the talks for alliance fell through after the parties failed to reach a consensus over a seat-sharing formula. While SP reportedly offered 99 seats to Congress, the latter, that was reduced to just 28 seats in the 2012 Assembly elections, demanded at least 115.

The news agency further reported that with the nomination process ongoing in the state, Congress has already cleared the names of 140 candidates soon after the talks of an alliance failed.

For Congress, this is definitely not good news, and that too at a time when rival parties are claiming the party is nearly done in Uttar Pradesh. In fact, earlier on Saturday, BSP chief Mayawati said that even if Congress manages to pull off the alliance with Samajwadi Party, it won't help the party's situation. Mocking Congress' bid to align with Samajwadi Party for the high-stake assembly polls, the BSP supremo said that it was merely a reflection of the grand old party's political bankruptcy.

Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi.

Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi.

However, the Samajwadi Party will not be fazed by this update. The much-touted alliance was being considered as a clever ploy by the party to consolidate the Muslim-Yadav vote bank that has been the secret of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh's success for many years.

Chief minister and national president, Akhilesh Yadav, is to release his party's manifesto on Sunday, said spokesman Rajendra Chowdhary. Earlier, it was supposed to be happening at a joint event between Congress and SP.

Samajwadi Party's Maharastra state unit leader Abu Azmi said SP had given enough space to the Congress and that before seeking more seats, Congress should look at its haisiyat (reality). Raghuraj Pratao Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya, an independent legislator from Kunda in Pratapgarh, also said SP should go it alone.

After meeting the SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Raja Bhaiyya, who is a minister in the Akhilesh Yadav Cabinet, advocated that SP should go it alone in the polls and expressed confidence that the party was in a position to form the next government on its own. "I am very confident that SP under Akhilesh Yadav will romp home again and that there is no need to enter into an alliance with Congress," he said.

The statements are being seen as an indication that the SP leadership was not very keen to tie up with the Congress, though initially the first step was taken by it. Akhilesh, then battling power centres within his party, had said a tie-up with Congress would mean 300-plus seats for the combine.

On Friday, however, things changed dramatically when Samajwadi Party went ahead unilaterally and declared 191 candidates, that included names for seats where the Congress had won in the 2012 Assembly polls. Amid protests from Congress, the chief minister made it clear that they had accommodated enough and there was no possibility of giving them more leg space.

With inputs from IANS

Published Date: Jan 21, 2017 19:02 PM | Updated Date: Jan 21, 2017 19:02 PM

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