- Akhilesh Yadav is unlikely to tie-up with Congress in Madhya Pradesh
- He says Congress not serious on alliance, will hold talks with Mayawati
- Yesterday, he announced list of 6 candidates for state elections
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is likely to follow the example of Mayawati and cut the Congress out of any possible alliance in the coming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh. Declaring that the Congress has made them "wait too long" and they will hold talks with the BSP, the Samajwadi chief today announced a list of six candidates for the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.
"We have waited too long for the Congress. How much longer should we wait? We will now consult the Gondwana Gantantra Party (GGP), with which we had an alliance, and the BSP for the coming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh," news agency Press Trust of India quoted Akhilesh Yadav as saying.
Akhilesh Yadav's electoral understanding with Mayawati had led to shock defeats for the BJP in a string of by-elections in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year - among prestigious seats belonging to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy. In Madhya Pradesh, which has a substantial population of Scheduled Castes, a possible alliance between them is likely to pare the votes from the BJP, which is seeking a fourth term in power in the state.
State leaders of the Congress have explained Mayawati's demands during seat sharing talks as something that would benefit the BJP. Senior party leader Digvijaya Singh had even said Mayawati was not signing a deal with the Congress too keep off the pressure of investigations into the corruption cases against her.
Irked, Mayawati announced on Wednesday that she would not contest the election in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in an alliance with the Congress "at any cost".
Mayawati had demanded 40 of Madhya Pradesh's 231 seats, but with a package deal in Rajasthan. While Madhya Pradesh Congress was agreeable to a deal though with a rider on the number of seats to be offered, the Rajasthan Congress was of the view that it would be Mayawati who would benefit from any seat sharing arrangement in the state. Mayawati made it clear that she would not make any deal unless her demands were met.
Mayawati, however, left the window open for a tie-up in the 2019 national election, for which the opposition plans to join forces against the BJP.
Earlier last month, the BSP chief had announced a tie-up for the Chhattisgarh polls with Ajit Jogi, who was expelled by the Congress in 2016 and is seen to have enough firepower to singe the party in a state it hoped to win after BJP's 15-year rule.