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Congress, SP debate if and where Rahul Gandhi, CM Akhilesh Yadav will share stage

With five days left for nominations to be filed for the first phase of elections in 73 seats of western UP, there are no signs of any major event being planned by the two parties to announce an alliance.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
Updated: January 20, 2017 3:30:45 pm
samajwadi party, congress, rahul gandhi, akhilesh yadav, uttar pradesh, uttar pradesh polls, UP polls, SP, Samajwadi Party news, India news Sources said the SP wants Rahul to accompany Akhilesh while announcing the alliance in Lucknow,while the Congress’s top leadership would rather this happened in Delhi.

While the Congress and the Samajwadi Party are yet to sort out their differences regarding seat sharing for the polls, another issue appears to have come between the two parties: whether it will be in Lucknow or in Delhi where Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi shares the dais with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav — if at all.

Sources said the SP wants Rahul to accompany Akhilesh while announcing the alliance in Lucknow,while the Congress’s top leadership would rather this happened in Delhi. Besides, the sources added, Akhilesh has indicated he would not be present to announce the alliance if Rahul gives the event a miss.

WATCH VIDEO | Samajwadi Party’s First List Of Candidates Creates Uncertainty Over Alliance With Congress

If that happens, sources said, Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar, along with SP’s Ram Gopal Yadav, could end up announcing the alliance. Or else, they could only announce their separate first lists of candidates.

With five days left for nominations to be filed for the first phase of elections in 73 seats of western UP, there are no signs of any major event being planned by the two parties to announce an alliance. Party leaders said while a joint event is on the cards, the date, the time and place are yet to be decided.

“The Congress central election committee is meeting in Delhi to finalise candidates for UP. It is likely that a formal announcement will be made in Delhi by tomorrow,” said party spokesperson Satyadev Tripathi.

Akhilesh loyalists back in SP

Akhilesh, now also the SP president, has revoked the expulsion of his loyalists, including five MLCs, who were expelled from the SP by his uncle and then party state chief Shivpal Singh Yadav last year. He has also replaced heads of frontal organisations appointed by his uncle.

MLCs Sanjay Lathar, Sunil Singh Yadav, Anand Bhadauriya, Arvind Pratap Singh and Udaiveer Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav Youth Brigade national president Gaurav Dubey, youth brigade state president Mohd Ebaad, Yuvajan Sabha state president Brajesh Yadav and Samajwadi Chhatra Sabha state president Digvijay Singh Deo were reinstated by the new state SP chief Naresh Uttam Patel on Akhilkesh’s directives on Wednesday.

Shivpal had expelled these Akhilesh loyalists in September and October last year on charges of anti-party activities and making indecent remarks against Mulayam Singh Yadav.

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