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Alliance with BSP, RLD final; seat-sharing no problem: Akhilesh

Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party’s (SP) alliance with the BSP and the RLD was “final” and there would be no issues as regards seat-sharing in the coming Lok Sabha polls, party chief Akhilesh Yadav said , while ruling out any understanding with the Congress.

“Our alliance with the BSP, the RLD and smaller parties like the Nishad Party is final and seat-sharing will not be a problem. It will be worked out soon. We have emerged as a strong force in the state, which has changed the tone and tenor of the BJP, whose leaders have started using foul language against us,” the SP national president told PTI.
“Uttar Pradesh has always acted as a catalyst for change. This time, the people of the state will change the prime minister. Our fight is with the BJP and the people are supporting us,” Yadav said in an interview at the SP headquarters here.

He, however, ducked the question as to who would be his choice as the next prime minister. Maintaining that the SP will only “concentrate” in Uttar Pradesh, Yadav ruled out any understanding with the Congress in the state in the Lok Sabha polls.

“How can we have an understanding with it (Congress)? It is a national party. We have given them two seats (Amethi and Raebareli), which the SP had been leaving for them. Presently, my focus is on Uttar Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand also, the SP will field one or two candidates who are strong and we will explore (the possibility of an) alliance with others,” he said.

Reminded about his friendship with Congress president Rahul Gandhi (48), with whom he had given the “UP ke ladke” (boys from UP) slogan in the 2017 state Assembly polls, Yadav, who is three years younger to Gandhi, said, “I will not like to talk about the Congress as of now.”

Asked about his recent meeting with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Jayant Chowdhury, he said, “Our alliance is final. In Kairana, we had fielded RLD leader Tabassum Hasan on an SP ticket. We will give Mathura and Baghpat to them, which they want. There is no problem in the alliance now.”

Asked about Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati’s charge that his uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief Shivpal Yadav was being financed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yadav preferred not to speak.

“I will not say anything on this,” he said. Announcing the SP-BSP tie-up at a press conference last week, Mayawati had claimed that the BJP had funded Shivpal’s party and said the entire money would go down the drain as there would be no split in the SP-BSP votes.