Stalin’s pitch for Rahul as PM is his opinion, not of alliance: Akhilesh

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Lucknow, Dec 18 (IANS) Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday seemed to disagree with DMK president M.K. Stalin on projecting Rahul Gandhi as prime ministerial candidate of a united Opposition, terming it as “his own opinion”.

The former UP chief minister said that many opposition leaders such as NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee were attempting to bring like-minded parties to come together and stitch an alliance against the “unpopular BJP.”

To a pointed query on Stalin batting for the Congress president for the PM’s post, the 45-year-old leader said that “if someone is expressing an opinion, it need not necessarily be the opinion of the alliance”.

There is growing unease in the SP leadership as well as its cadre on speculation about it joining hands with the Congress for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While the party is keen to be seen on the same page as the Congress, obviously to safeguard its Muslim vote bank in UP, political observers feel the SP chief is slowly distancing himself from the Congress. He did not turn up at the swearing-in ceremonies of the MP and Rajasthan chief ministers, both from the Congress.

While the two parties joined hands for the 2017 state assembly elections in UP, they were routed and the BJP stormed to power.

–IANS

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