SP, Congress finally seal alliance for UP polls

| Updated: Jan 22, 2017 17:09 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 22(ANI): Putting all speculations to rest, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party on Sunday finally forged an alliance for the high-voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. The Congress, which wanted to contest as many as 121 seats, has reportedly now settled for 105 seats. The development comes after Congress general secretary Ahmed Patel said that Priyanka Gandhi intervened to end the ongoing deadlock over entering into an alliance to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the politically crucial state. "Wrong to suggest lightweights were dealing on behalf of Congress party.Discussion was at highest level- b/w CM (UP),GS I/C & Priyanka Gandhi," he tweeted. Eyeing a second term in office, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav yesterday said that his final offer was 100 seats for the Congress. Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal yesterday said the possibility of an alliance was "almost over" and blamed the "stubborn" attitude of Congress for the deadlock. "The Chief Minister (Akhilesh Yadav) had made an offer of 100 seats to the Congress, but they are asking for 120 seats. We told them that we have 234 sitting legislators and there are some others who will also contest. So, we need at least 300 seats for ourselves," Agarwal told ANI. Akhilesh had earlier on Friday announced candidates for 209 constituencies, which will vote in the first two phases of the assembly polls. Interestingly, the constituencies included nine in western Uttar Pradesh which were won by the grand old party in the 2012 assembly polls. The Samajwadi Party said to be the major partner in the alliance has so far argued that the Congress performed better only in 54 seats in Uttar Pradesh in the last polls. Uttar Pradesh will vote in seven phases beginning February 11 and results will be announced on March 11. (ANI)