Congress-SP form alliance for UP polls, Sheila may step down
"The Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance will form the next government in Uttar Pradesh," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here, a day after the Election Commission allotted the cycle symbol to the Akhilesh faction.
Azad said the nitty-gritties of the alliance, particularly seat sharing, was being worked out.
Asked if the alliance would include the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and whether it would be on the lines of the Bihar-style Grand Alliance, Azad declined to comment.
"On that (Grand Alliance) I cannot say anything right now. Will talk about that later," he said.
"There has been speculation on whether or not this alliance is happening or not. This is to confirm that it is happening," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh, Sheila Dikshit reiterated she would step down if asked to.
"I have said this earlier too (Monday), there can't be two chief ministerial faces, so I will step down," she said.
Alliance talks between the Congress and Akhilesh faction have been going on for some days, for the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh assembly elections that kick off on February 11 for 403 seats.
Will take 'netaji' along: Akhilesh after winning symbol war
Having bagged the 'bicycle' symbol, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said he would take Mulayam Singh Yadav along and him, describing the ties with his father and the SP patriarch as "unbreakable".
Akhilesh said at present his priority was to form the Samajwadi Party government again in the state and that he will take everyone along with him
"I will take netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) along...my relation with him is unbreakable," he told reporters during an informal chat at his official 5 Kalidas Marg residence here.
"I was confident that I will get cycle. Less time is left, I will finalise the list of candidates. It's a big responsibility and I will take everyone with us," he said.
Dealing a severe blow to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election Commission yesterday gave the symbol 'Bicycle' to the faction headed by Akhilesh Yadav, recognising it as the Samajwadi Party that came as a major boost to the Chief Minister ahead of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
Outside his sprawling bungalow in the VIP security zone a large crowd of youth SP leaders and party workers assembled, raising slogans like "Sab bolo dil sey, Akhilesh bhaiya phir sey" (pray from the core of your heart for another term to Akhilesh).
After getting the symbol yesterday, Akhilesh met his father Mulayam late last night and later tweeted three old pictures one with father and two of the January 1 national convention with the message "cycle chalti jayegi, aage badte jayegi" (cycle will run, and keep moving ahead).
A number of party workers, legislators and ministers reached his residence early in the morning even as hordes of ticket seekers swarmed the SP headquarters close by.
SP state president Naresh Uttam met workers at the party office.
Mulayam stayed put in his bungalow, which is at a stone's throw distance from the chief minister's residence and met brother Shivpal Yadav, Ambika Chowdhury and others.