The Congress is yet to officially announce the SP alliance and seat-sharing agreement although an announcement is expected soon.? Photograph:( Reuters )
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has said there will be a Congress-SP alliance in the upcoming UP elections. There are also reports of a grand alliance of the Samajwadi Party, Congress, RLD and JD(U) for the high-stakes poll.
Azad's colleague, Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, had earlier said that she would withdraw as the Congress' chief ministerial candidate if her party enters into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress is yet to officially announce the SP alliance and seat-sharing agreement although an announcement is expected soon.
The development comes after the Election Commission had on Monday granted the disputed 'cycle' symbol of the Samajwadi Party to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. In a major setback to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election Commission declared the group led by Akhilesh Yadav to be the Samajwadi Party, entitled to use the 'bicycle' symbol. It also acknowledged Akhilesh Yadav as the national president of the Samajwadi Party.
Meanwhile, the poll process for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh is set to begin today with notification for the first phase of voting scheduled on February 11. As many as seventy-three constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will vote in this phase.
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.
(WION with Agency inputs)