ALLIANCE?
Congress ready to go alone in UP, after SP-BSP snub
- TEAM PT
Congress ready to go alone in UP, after SP-BSP snub



THE CONGRESS ON Saturday indicated that it was willing to go alone in Uttar Pradesh after BSP supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav met in Delhi to agree on seat sharing arrangements on Friday.

PL Punia, a Rajya Sabha member from the Congress, on Saturday said his party is preparing to contest alone.

"A coalition is not important... Our workers are ready... We have not spoken to anyone about an alliance," he told NDTV.

This comes after SP chief Akhilesh Yadav hinted at retribution after a member of the SP, who was supposed to have been given a ministerial position in the Kamal Nath led Madhya Pradesh Congress government even after SP’s help to push Congress over the majority mark.

"Thanks to the Congress, they did not make our Vidhayak (legislator) a minister," Akhilesh Yadav had told reporters last week. By doing so, the Congress had "cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh," he had said.
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Mahendra Nath Pandey, UP BJP chief, reacted upon the issue and said that "the upcoming election with be Prime Minister Narendra Modi versus all. Let Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati form their alliance. The BJP's alliance is with the people of the nation.”
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Earlier, the BSP-SP had met to sort out the seat sharing deal and decide upon the Grand Alliance with the RLD and Congress. Although, both the state parties have snubbed the Congress party and decided to go with Rashtriya Lok Dal which might get 3 seats in the offing.
 
Mahendra Nath Pandey, UP BJP chief, reacted upon the issue and said that "the upcoming election with be Prime Minister Narendra Modi versus all. Let Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati form their alliance. The BJP's alliance is with the people of the nation.”
 
However, this afternoon, a senior Samajwadi Party leader tried to downplay the reports. Ram Gopal Yadav, uncle of Akhilesh Yadav and effectively number 2 in Samajwadi Party, said talks of sidelining the Congress are "imaginary". 
"Why are you imagining?" he asked reporters.
 
The relationship between the Congress and Mayawati had soured ahead of last year’s assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress reportedly refused to concede to her demand for 50 seats. This had prompted her to walk out of the alliance talks and contest the polls alone. The Congress later formed the government with the help of the lone BSP MLA. However, Mayawati later alleged that the Congress had gone back on its promise to offer her MLA a ministerial berth.

Angry over the ‘insult,’ Mayawati had vowed to return the ‘favour’ to the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. She had found support from Yadav, who too alleged that the Congress had not made the SP MLA a minister in Madhya Pradesh. This, according to him, had "cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh.’
 
Politically crucial Uttar Pradesh sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha. The opposition parties defeated the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in three Lok Sabha bypolls last year.
 

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