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SP won’t ally with RLD, tie-up only with Congress

The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party on Thursday ruled out any alliance with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), dashing the hopes of a ‘mahagathbandhan’ against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

“We will forge an alliance only with the Congress. We will not ally with the RLD. No talks are going on with them (RLD). We will contest from over 300 seats (out of 403) and the Congress will be there for the rest of them,” SP National Vice-President Kironmoy Nanda said.

As regards finalisation of candidates, he said, “SP has finalised its candidates for the first and second phases (of the upcoming polls). Now, it is up to the Congress to decide on their nominees.”

Nanda said the details of the seats would be announced by SP national president Akhilesh Yadav.

The decisions regarding forging an alliance and seats were taken at a marathon six-hour meeting held by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav with senior SP leaders.

Sources said RLD wanted more seats than what SP was ready to part with.

“After the alliance with the Congress, we will get an absolute majority in the state and Akhilesh will become chief minister again,” Nanda asserted, adding that the SP will release its poll manifesto soon.

Talks with the RLD, sources said, failed as it wanted more seats but the SP was not ready to oblige.

“We wanted the seats of our choice but there was no agreement on it,” RLD spokesman Anil Dubey later said.

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