Akhilesh to join Congress yatra only if seat-sharing is accepted

  • | Tuesday | 20th February, 2024

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has said that he will not join Rahul Gandhis Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Uttar Pradesh unless seat-sharing between the SP and Congress is finalised. The Congress has been offered 17 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh by the Samajwadi Party said on Monday and asserted that its chief Akhilesh Yadav would join the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Rae Bareli only if the proposal is accepted. We have given a final offer of 17 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress. Akhilesh Yadavs participation in the Nyay Yatra in Rae Bareli on Tuesday will depend on their acceptance, SP chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary was quoted as saying. He, however, did not identify the seats offered to the Congress. Samajwadi Party is a key constituent of the oppositions Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function, Akhilesh Yadav said, We have had several rounds of discussions, exchanged many lists of candidates. When the seat-sharing is done, the Samajwadi Party will participate in their Nyay yatra. The remarks assume significance in view of the deadlock between the Congress and SP on the distribution of seats between the two INDIA bloc partners ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudharys exit from the opposition alliance makes a decision on the UP seat-sharing all the more crucial for the INDIA bloc. Earlier this year, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that the Trinamool Congress would not ally with the Congress in her state. The Congress is facing similar trouble in Punjab and Delhi where the Aam Aadmi Party appears unwilling to grant Congress its desired number of seats. Akhilesh Yadavs refusal to join Rahul Gandhis Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra comes weeks after the SP unilaterally announced 11 seats in UP for the Congress. The grand old party, however, has maintained that talks are still underway. Notably, Akhilesh had earlier accepted an invitation by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to join the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra either in Rae Bareli or Amethi. But with the continuing deadlock on seat-sharing, Akhilesh made his appearance at the yatra conditional to a decision on the seat-sharing with Congress. Commenting on the groundbreaking ceremony of the Yogi government in UP, the SP president called it a political gimmick before the Lok Sabha polls. They did nothing during their entire tenure and now are trying to confuse the voters, he alleged. The Bharatiya Janata Party government of UP, which did nothing for the people of the state, the youth, is now showing dreams to the public of employment through these investments. Similarly, they organised police recruitment exams attended by 50 lakh youths. It is a mere eye wash as the exams were already rigged, he said.

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