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AAP, SP discuss seat-sharing for UP polls

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh made the announcement after meeting SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. There have been meetings between the two in the past but the talk of a possible alliance was kept under the wraps.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: November 25, 2021 4:54:58 am
AAP SP alliance, AAP UP elections, UP election news, UP elections latest news, Akhilesh Yadav AAP, AAP Akhilesh Yadav meeting, SP AAP alliance, indian express news, UP newsAAP MP Sanjay Singh and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav. (File photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday said it has started talks with the Samajwadi Party ahead of the 2022 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, indicating that the two may be looking at a possible alliance in the state.

AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh made the announcement after meeting SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow.

The Samajwadi Party appeared to hint at the same. “A meeting for change,” Yadav wrote on Twitter, posting an image featuring him, Sanjay Singh and senior AAP leader Dilip Pandey, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting.

There have been meetings between leaders of the two parties in the past but the talk of a possible alliance was largely kept under the wraps.

“We have started the talks today. Our primary goal is to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh which is suffering under the misrule of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Akhilesh Yadav is in talks with many parties and our meeting today is also a step in that direction,” Singh told The Indian Express.

Singh, who is the AAP’s Uttar Pradesh in-charge, also pitched for Opposition unity. “All opposition parties should have defeating the BJP as their primary goal,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, goes to the polls early next year. UP is among the states where the AAP is trying to make inroads and expand its footprint.

Confirming the meeting, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said that both leaders discussed strategy to defeat the BJP in the upcoming election.

“During the meeting, it was agreed in principle to remove BJP from power in Uttar Pradesh. The strategy to remove BJP from power in UP was also discussed,” Chaudhary said.

The development comes a day after the SP and RLD indicated that seat-sharing talks between the two parties have reached the last lap and a deal will be announced soon.

The SP has already sealed an alliance with Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) — a BJP ally in the 2017 polls. Along with SBSP, the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, a grouping of smaller parties headed by Rajbhar, will be part of the SP-led alliance.

On Monday, Singh had met SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to wish the veteran leader on his 82nd birthday. The last public meeting between the AAP leader and Akhilesh Yadav was in July.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal was scheduled to address a rozgar (employment) guarantee rally in Lucknow on November 28, which has now been postponed by the local administration citing the UP teachers’ eligibilty test, which will be conducted on that day. Last month, Kejriwal had visited Ayodhya, where he offered prayers at the Ram Lalla temple.

The AAP has over the last two months taken out a series of tiranga yatras across towns in UP, including Noida, Agra, Ayodhya and Lucknow. It also announced that if elected to power, it will provide free electricity to farmers and domestic consumption up to 300 units will not be charged.

On Wednesday, Singh refused to comment on the seats where the AAP may field candidates if it joins the SP-led coalition. To galvanise the party ranks, the AAP had earlier released the name of 170 probable candidates.

(With inputs from Harikishan Sharma)

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