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Akhilesh Yadav talks tough on INDIA bloc, says will 'think about alliance' for LS polls after spat with Congress
Akhilesh Yadav
Image Credit: Facebook/Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav talks tough on INDIA bloc, says will 'think about alliance' for LS polls after spat with Congress

| @indiablooms | 19 Oct 2023, 09:27 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav seemed to put the Congress on notice Thursday, accusing the grand old party of "fooling" others and hinting that had they known the alliance doesn't work on the state level, they would not have been so open to the INDIA bloc.

"Will think about alliance for the Lok Sabha polls," Akhilesh said, whose party has so far been on board with the united opposition idea.

The Congress and Samajwadi Party, both members of the INDIA front, have fielded candidates against each other on 18 seats in Madhya Pradesh.

The development is expected to divide the anti-BJP votes and play into the hands of the state's ruling party in the coming assembly election.

"We spoke to ex-chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath, who now heads the party's state unit)," Akhilesh told reporters.

"We told them where our MLAs have previously won... told them where we have been on number 2 earlier," he said.

"They assured us that they would think about us for six seats. When they announced candidates there was nothing for SP. If I knew there was no alliance on state, then we wouldn't have met. We wouldn't have spoken to Congress," the SP leader said.  

The Congress had released the first list of 144 candidates on the first day of Navratri. Eight hours later, the Samajwadi Party released the names of its nine candidates, where there was an overlap on five seats.

On Wednesday evening, the SP announced another 22 candidates, of whom 13 were pitted against the Congress from various seats.

The matter worsened after the Congress's Uttar Pradesh chief Ajai Rai made some strong comments. The SP, he had said, does not have any ground support in Madhya Pradesh and should not contest elections there.

He also mentioned that the Congress is preparing to contest all 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh polls.

The comment left Akhilesh, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, fuming.

"I want to tell Congress that their chirkut neta (small-time leaders) should not speak about SP... These Congress people are with the BJP... Had I known that there is no alliance on state level, I would not have send SP leaders to Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh," he said.

Kamal Nath Wednesday said talks are still on with the SP regarding the state-level alliance. There were also "practical glitches", he said.

"Our candidates aren't ready to fight on the SP poll symbol, even if the SP says it is ready to field our candidates on its symbol. In such a situation, what shall we do? These are practical aspects on the ground," he said.

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