UP Polls: Wheels in motion as Ram Gopal Yadav confirms alliance with Congress

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Jan. 17 : Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav on Tuesday confirmed that the party will lock itself in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress Party, hours after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad conveyed the same.

When asked about possibility of an alliance with the Congress, Ram Gopal told ANI, "We will talk, alliance will take place." Earlier today, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that his party would enter into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Azad further said the details about the same will be decided in the coming days. Azad's statement came as his party colleague Sheila Dikshit stated that she would withdraw as the chief ministerial candidate if her party enters into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the high-stakes polls.

Dikshit told ANI there cannot be two chief ministerial faces in case of an alliance in the politically crucial state.

"Talks are on and the SP-Congress alliance will benefit Uttar Pradesh. I will do what the party high command decides," she added. In a major setback to Mulayam, the Election Commission yesterday recognised the faction led by Akhilesh as the Samajwadi Party and allotted it the 'cycle' symbol.

Meanwhile, the poll process for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will begin today with notification for the first phase of voting scheduled on February 11.

Seventy three constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will vote in this phase. The filing of nominations for these constituencies will start today and the last date for the same will be January 24.

The withdrawal of candidature could be done till January 27 and polling will be on February 11. The districts going to polls in the first phase are Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Agra, Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj.

Uttar Pradesh will have seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8. The term of the present government will end on May 27..

Source: ANI