Congress releases list of 41 candidates for UP polls

| Updated: Jan 23, 2017 04:26 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): After announcing an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the high stakes Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the Congress on Sunday released a list of 41 candidates for the first and second phase of polls. The list featured former union minister Jitin Prasad, who will contest from Tilhar, Pradeep Mathur, will be re-contesting from Mathura and Imran Masood from Nakur. Confirming the alliance earlier today, the Samajwadi Party and the Congress vowed to make Akhilesh Yadav the chief minister of the politically crucial state yet again while promising to free the state from communal forces. As part of the alliance, the Samajwadi Party will contest on 298 seats while the Congress will field its candidates in 105 seats. Hailing the alliance as 'historic', Samajwadi Party leader Uttam said both parties will initiate a historic era by halting the BSP and BJP. "We appeal to our party workers and the people of the state to side with us and give us our blessings and help Akhilesh Yadav ji become the chief minister of the state again," he added. Raj Babbar on his part said the alliance will make a concerted effort towards strengthening secularism and goodwill in the society. "This is most certainly a historical decision towards the development of the people of the state. The joint political and conceptual line of thought of the alliance will help defeat the polarising and divisive agenda of the BJP and the BSP," Babbar said. The formal announcement of SP-Congress alliance came after huge discussions held over by the two sides over the past few days before they agreed to 298-105 formula. The negotiation was said to have hit a roadblock yesterday, when the Congress rejected the SP's offer. The poll process in Uttar Pradesh begins on February 11. 73 constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will go polls in this phase. The filing of nominations for these constituencies will end on January 24. Uttar Pradesh is set to have a seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8. (ANI)