Lucknow, January 18
Efforts to form a “grand secular alliance ” in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh went into top gear on Tuesday with the Congress declaring that it has decided to tie up with Samajwadi Party and the shape of the formation would be announced in the next two days.
A grand alliance may be formed with Samajwadi, Congress and Rashtriya Lokdal parties and the like in Bihar.
AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad announced its alliance with the ruling SP in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Our party will contest the elections on the front led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’, he said. Azad said this was just a beginning of the alliance process and the nitty gritty would be decided in the next one or two days.
Replying to a media question whether it will join hands with Congress, SP chief and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said a decision on tying up with the Congress will be taken in a “day or two”.
SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, a close aide of Akhilesh, expressed hope of a grand secular alliance to fight elections in the state. Saying that Akhilesh will take a decision on this, he is expecting alliance between both the parties.
Reports suggested the Congress leaders are also favouring to contest the polls along with Akhilesh. Former Central Minister RPN Singh expressed happiness over the allotment of bicycle symbol to Akhilesh.
According to reports, SP leaders were considering to allot 120:125 seats to Congress and RLD (Rashitriya Lok Dal). Meanwhile, former Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, who has been projected by Congress as the UP CM candidate, said that if the alliance takes place, she would step aside in favour of Akhilesh.