Samajwadi Party-Congress combine can win more than 300 seats: Akhilesh

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New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Asserting the ruling Samajwadi Party will retain power in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday kept the doors open for an alliance with the Congress for next years assembly polls, saying the combine can win over 300 seats in the 403-member House.

Talking about Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor meeting SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as also himself, he said the onus was on Congress to decide on a possible alliance.

“Prashant Kishor met Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and also had a meeting with me. I told him that the SP would get a majority on its own, but if there was an alliance, we would win more than 300 seats,” said Akhilesh Yadav at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.

“In an alliance, one has to contend with fewer number of seats to contest, but if gain and loss become the consideration, then it doesn’t work out. The SP will be forming the government again with a majority and if Congress also joins in, we will cross 300. However, it is for the Congress to decide,” he said.

Akhilesh Yadav also asserted that his party will not perceive the Congress as a “junior partner” in case of an alliance.

Referring to his earlier remarks of “Mulayam Singh as the Prime Minister and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi as the Deputy Prime Minister”, he said his offer was still valid and that it was for the Congress leadership to take a call.

“Rahulji is not in the audience today, but the message can be passed on to him by people close to him,” he said pointing to Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra who were present in the audience.

While the Kishor-Mulayam Singh meeting had triggered speculation of a “grand alliance” like Bihar to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, he said it was not possible in his state as the “political dynamics in UP are different from Bihar”.

Rubbished suggestions that his party was close to the BJP, Akhilesh refused to single out whether the BJP or the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party was SP’s main rival.

“Its the SP which will come to power again, and it is for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the BSP to decide who wants to take the second and third spots,” he quipped.

About the bitter family feud within the Yadav family, he, without taking names, hit out at uncle Shivpal Yadav and party leader and Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh.

“I will listen to Netaji (Mulayam) and accept whatever he says. But if a typewriter comes from somewhere to remove me, I will not accept it,” he said but refused to elaborate if the “typewriter” was Amar Singh.

About his repeated run-ins with Shivpal Yadav, he said: “Political wisdom dictates if someone wants to remove you (from the party), you remove him.”

–IANS

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