Akhilesh faction of Samajwadi Party and Congress have decided to fight the coming UP Assembly election together. Behind-the-scenes parleys had almost given the final shape to a seat-sharing arrangement, only a formal announcement is awaited which will be made after Rahul Gandhi's return from his foreign trip, the sources said.
Sheila Diskhit, who has been projected as the Congress’ Chief Ministerial face for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections had already said she would ‘be happy’ to have Akhilesh Yadav as the CM candidate if the her party goes for an alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
The former Chief Minister told NDTV that she thought Akhilesh is a “much better” Chief Ministerial candidate for the politically crucial state.
UP's ruling SP is currently embroiled in a bitter power tussle between two factions.
In November, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had made it clear to the Samajwadi Party that he is willing to consider an alliance in Uttar Pradesh only if Akhilesh Yadav is given full command of the party.
Akhilesh too had indicated that he was open to the idea of allying with the Congress, but his father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav had clearly ruled out any pre-poll alliance. This is also seen as one of the reasons for the growing estrangement between the father and son duo.
"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," he had said.
The Samajwadi Party is on a brink of a split, with Akhilesh and Mulayam divided into two camps and fighting over their party symbol the cycle. However, the two factions tried to hammer out a truce on Tuesday, with Akhilesh even holding talks with his father for over two hours, but nothing conclusive came out of it.
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: 06 Jan 2017 09:53 AM