SP, Congress finally join hands to get rid of divisive forces in UP

| Updated: Jan 23, 2017 01:09 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan. 22 (ANI): Firming up an alliance for next month's high-voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party and Congress on Sunday vowed to make Akhilesh Yadav the chief minister of the politically crucial state yet again while promising to free the state from communal forces. The latest political development was confirmed at a joint press briefing addressed by Samajwadi Party's Uttar Pradesh chief Naresh Uttam and Congress' UP unit president Raj Babbar. 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', 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 active leadership of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and INC vice-president Rahul Gandhi will rise above the pettiness of religion and caste and will provide the people of the state with physical and financial security. It will also help strengthen social dignity of the people. The alliance will also make a superlative effort to empower the youth and the women of the state," he added. Babbar also said he is hopeful of winning the trust of the people. "If we are able to win the trust and faith of the people, which we are hopeful of, we will present an agenda of administration of our alliance within a week. This will make our government more efficient, transparent and accountable," he said. Babbar also attacked the BJP government on the demonetisation of high-end currency notes and said they will do everything needed to negate the ill-effect of cash-shortage on the farmers. "Demonetisation has wreaked havoc on the farmers and their income. At the same time, it has helped and saved corrupt officials. Our alliance will give special attention to the progress and prosperity of these farmers as they are largely responsible for the development of the country," he said. Babbar added, "The people of UP have a golden opportunity to prove that they will not withstand any party which tries to destroy the social, economic and administrative threadbare of the Indian society." The formal announcement of SP-Congress alliance has come after huge discussions by the two sides over 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)