A Stage For Rahul-Akhilesh Alliance Set With Eyes On EC Order Over Samajwadi Party Poll Symbol
Sources said on Wednesday that both the Congress and Samajwadi Party is more likely to finalise with an alliance in the Uttar Pradesh after the Election Commission (EC) gives its ruling on claims made by the competing faction in the state’s ruling party on its election symbol, the bicycle.
While the two sides were yet to arrive at an agreement on the seat-sharing formula, the Samajwadi Party offering half of 120-130 seats as demanded by the Congress.
As sources said, the real reason for the delay in striking the deal was due to the ongoing feud taking place in the SP’s first family. Expected that the poll panel would take a decision on the symbol on Friday.
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However, the Congress has mentioned earlier that it was ready to fight in more than 400 seats if it goes alone.
The new Chief Minister of UP, Akhilesh Yadav with party’s general secretary in-charge, Ghulam Nabi Azad has gained the soft corner of the Congress leadership.
Although the Congress party has not been politically significant in India’s most populous state for more than two decades, it remains as the sought-after ally for the SP fraction.
The SP hopes to thwart the BSP’s chief Mayawati’s overtures towards the Muslim voters with the help of the Congress. The alliance of Congress and SP could also fight as a credible and influential secular alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Congress has played the role of a junior partner to Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad in the last Bihar assembly polls and could replicate the model. Party insiders say that an alliance was the only chance of returning to the power.
In 2017 elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has given 97 tickets to Muslim candidates, which was the highest ever, seeking to carve the Dalit-Muslim alliances.
Till the unity of SP, BSP could bank on the share of the Muslim vote. But with the divisions, now the competition for minority loyalty have increased. It could well split four ways between the BSP, the two SP factions and the Congress.