New Delhi [India], Jan. 22 : As the Congress and Samajwadi Party on Sunday joined hands for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections with an aim to 'defeat communal and divisive forces', the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sounded confidence stating that even if the Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) form alliance with the duo, the saffron party would emerge victorious.
Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad told ANI that more than winning, the alliance wants to defeat communal and divisive forces.
"It's always very difficult to form alliance. Several parties have formed alliance and it has always taken time. We want progress as well as peace in Uttar Pradesh. If there is peace in Uttar Pradesh, there is peace in the entire nation," he added. Expressing optimism, BJP's Keshav Prasad Maurya said, "Let the Congress and Samajwadi Party be, if the Bahujan Samaj Party also joins alliance the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will still emerge victorious and form government in Uttar Pradesh." Firming up an alliance for next month's high-voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Samajwadi Party and Congress today vowed to make Akhilesh Yadav the Chief Minister of the politically crucial state yet again, while promising to free the state from communal forces.
As part of the alliance, the Samajwadi Party will contest on 298 seats while the Congress will field its candidates in 105 seats.
Hailing the alliance as 'historic', Samajwadi Party's Uttar Pradesh chief Naresh Uttam said both parties will initiate a historic era by halting the BSP and BJP.
Congress' Uttar Pradesh unit president Raj Babbar on his part said the alliance will make a concerted effort towards strengthening secularism and goodwill in the society.
The formal announcement of SP-Congress alliance has come after huge discussions by the two sides over few days before they agreed to 298-105 formula.
The negotiation was said to have hit a roadblock yesterday, when the Congress rejected the SP's offer.
The poll process in Uttar Pradesh begins on February 11. 73 constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will go polls in this phase. The filing of nominations for these constituencies will end on January 24. Uttar Pradesh is set to have a seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8..