Decision on grand alliance by Mulayam, says Akhilesh Yadav

By: PTI | Lucknow | Published:November 7, 2016 1:40 pm
samajwadi party, akhilesh yadav, mulayam singh yadav, SP merger, SP alliance, shivpal yadav, samajwadi party feud, up polls, polls 2017, india news Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at Vikas Rath Yatra in Lucknow on Thursday. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastava)

Any decision on a grand alliance for Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls will be taken by Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday said and stressed that he would give his suggestions only at party platform. “I will give my suggestions only at party platform. Elections are near, who will be benefited, who will lose (in alliance) is to be taken note of. The decision is to be taken by party’s national president,” Akhilesh told reporters, refusing to publicly state his stand on the issue.

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He was speaking outside Gayatri Prajapati’s official residence where he had gone to condole death of his cabinet colleague’s father. When asked specifically about the possibility of SP joining hand with Congress, Akhilesh parried a direct reply, saying, “If SP and Congress want alliance, will you (media) stop it…?”

He did not elaborate on the query made against the backdrop of Congress’ poll strategist Prashant Kishor meeting Mulayam here, triggering speculation of a ‘maha-gathbandhan’ (grand alliance) similar to the one in Bihar.

Kishor held prolonged discussion spread over two sessions yesterday just a day after top leaders of socialist-leaning parties attended SP’s silver jubilee meet – a move seen as an attempt by Mulayam to forge an alliance for the crucial polls hardly a few months away.

This was for the second time in six days that Kishor met Mulayam, who is trying to cobble together an alliance of like-minded parties. The first meeting had taken place at Mulayam’s Delhi residence on November 1.

On the possibility of a grand alliance, state SP President Shivpal Yadav said, “When it materialises, I will tell you.”

Samajwadi Party, which was initially part of Bihar’s grand alliance, had walked out of it after it was offered only a handful of seats to contest the assembly elections there. The grand alliance of JD(U), RJD and Congress had, however, scripted a major electoral victory, defeating the BJP-led NDA.