Cong likely to tie up with Shivpal, other smaller parties in UP

After Congress leader Acharya Pramod’s pictures with Shivpal Yadav went viral, a speculation is gaining ground that the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is trying to seek an alliance with smaller parties like the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party ahead of the next year’s Assembly polls.

Shivpal Yadav, the estranged uncle of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, has some influence in Itawa, Mainpuri, Sambhal belt where Yadavs are in sizeable numbers.

The Congress is also working to take on board the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). Former Haryana Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s son Deepender Hooda, who shares a good rapport with the Jat leaders in Uttar Pradesh, has been roped in by the Congress to work on the jat dominated areas. Though everyone is tight-lipped over the issue, and sources say that the RLD is in talks with Samajwadi Party (SP).

Senior Congress leader Acharya Pramod Krishnam was seen accompanying Shivpal Singh Yadav, who embarked on his ‘Samajik Parivartan Yatra’ on Tuesday from Mathura.

Acharya Pramod was seen sitting alongside Shivpal in his customised bus. He also felicitated the leader before starting his yatra.

Congress leader Deepak Singh, MLC, said that after Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s efforts, the Congress has become a serious player in the state, and alliances with smaller parties are not a bad idea, “though”, he says, “he did not know officially if the talks for alliance were happening or not.

Tie-up with the RLD can help the Congress strengthen its presence in the Jat-dominated areas as these areas are the centre of farmers’ agitation.

Priyanka Gandhi has been trying to be at the forefront at the farmers’ agitation and she on Tuesday offered ‘antim ardas’ to the farmers who were mowed down by an SUV in the Tikunia village on October 3.

Priyanka reached Lakhimpur Kheri where the post-death rituals of the deceased farmers were taking place.

A day earlier Priyanka led a ‘Maun Vrat’ in Lucknow in support of the demand for the dismissal of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, whose son is accused of mowing down farmers with his SUV.