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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav (left), MP Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia (centre) and Robert Vadra meet during the annual Hindustan Times ‘Leadership Summit’ conference in Delhi on Friday

UP election: Akhilesh not averse to alliance with Cong


NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday appeared not averse to an alliance with Congress for UP assembly polls, saying such a combine can win over 300 seats in the 403-member House, but firmly ruled out any tie-up with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Only last month, Samajwadi Party chief and Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav had ruled out any pre-poll alliance and asserted that there can only be mergers.

Replying to a volley of questions on a possible tie-up with Congress against the backdrop of its poll strategist Prashant Kishor meeting Mulayam and himself later, the Chief Minister said that a final decision on the alliance will be taken by the SP chief and he can only give suggestions.

Akhilesh also suggested that Congress will have to accept that it may have to fight on a fewer number of seats than it wants in an alliance because a tie-up will not work out if it keeps thinking about “profit and loss.” He also hit back at BSP chief Mayawati, who had recently mocked him for calling her ‘bua,’ saying her problem is that BSP is not in contention to capture power and added that he will no longer call her ‘bua’ (father’s sister).

Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit here, Akhilesh (43) attacked the Modi government over demonetisation and took potshots at his rivals, including Amar Singh, within SP.

“It is a big dream,” he quipped when asked if Amar Singh was also a contender for the chief minister’s post. He, however, asserted that the murky infighting that put his uncle Shivpal Yadav against him is behind him and he “like Arjun is focusing on one goal, which is to form government in the state again.”

It is for Congress, which has projected Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate, to take a final decision on an alliance, he said, adding that Kishor had met him after meeting Mulayam. “When there is an alliance, somebody has to accept that he will get fewer number of seats (to contest). If you keep thinking about profit and loss, then it will not work out. We are anyway going to form government again with a majority and if they (Congress) also come along, then we will cross 300,” he said. Akhilesh said that he conveyed this to Kishor too.

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