Will Cong 'hand' steer SP 'cycle' in Uttar Pradesh?
In a clear show of camaraderie and personal bonding, the scions of Congress and Samajwadi Party on Sunday came together to give a call for crushing BJP's divisive politics of anger for the progress, prosperity, peace and people of Uttar Pradesh in the Assembly elections.
In their first joint appearance after the alliance between the Congress and SP came through after hard bargaining, Congress Vice president Rahul Gandhi said the alliance was for three Ps(progress, prosperity and peace) to which SP president and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav added the last P(people).
Days after stitching up an electoral alliance for the high stakes assembly polls, Rahul arrived here in a special plane from Delhi for the joint press meet followed by a joint road show in the state capital.
The meeting also assumes significance as this was the maiden outing of the two leaders since reaching a seat-sharing agreement for the polls, which starts from February 11.
Out of the 403 assembly seats, Congress will be contesting in 105 and SP the rest 298 seats.
With an aim to tell people that the two parties were their choice in the elections, Rahul and Akhilesh launched the poll campaign with a tagline 'UP ko ye saath pasand hai' (UP relishes this alliance).
The refrain of the duo at the crowded press conference was to send out a strong message to party cadre from both sides to work together to ensure the defeat of the saffron party.
Describing themselves as two wheels of a bicycle, Akhilesh said: "There is not much difference in ages between us and today is the beginning."
"Rahul and I will take the state ahead on the path of prosperity," he said at the hour-long press conference. The Congress leader said partnership between Congress and SP was an answer to BJP's divisive politics of anger.
"The alliance is the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna out of which the Saraswati of development will come out...We have similarities and opposition too. We want to contest the elections on similarities and will also have to do some compromises...," Rahul chipped in.
Rahul said," This alliance isn't opportunistic. We will explain to Modiji, BJP and RSS that UP and its people are one.
We will not let them create a divide." On the negotiations on alliance which had at one time appeared like breaking down, the Congress leader said, "During negotiations there was posturing. He (Akhilesh) said something, I said something, he pretended to be angry and so did I. It's part of negotiations. Media should not take this too seriously." Akhilesh reiterated that the 'cycle'(SP symbol) and 'hand' (Congress symbol) will together speed up the progress of Uttar Pradesh.
The alliance has the catch line of "UP koh yeh saath pasand hai (UP likes this tie-up).
"It is a people's alliance. There is no doubt, we will win all the seats. Development work will be faster now. Cycle and Hand is a great combination," Akhilesh said.
Noting that both the leaders were together in the Lok Sabha, the SP chief said, "We know each other. Now we are glad that we have to work together."
Akhilesh said people of the state would respond to those who were responsible for making them stand in queues. They were not satisfied with note ban move.