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UP Grand alliance on anvil; Akhilesh says Cong tie-up decision soon

UP Grand alliance on anvil; Akhilesh says Cong tie-up decision soon

Lucknow: Prospects of a "grand secular alliance" in Uttar Pradesh Tuesday brightened with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav saying a decision on tying up with the Congress will be taken in a "day or two".

"Decision on alliance (with Congress) will be taken in a day or two," he said, buoyed by the Election Commission's order recognising him as the President of Samajwadi Party and allowing him to retain the 'bicycle' symbol.

He was responding to a question on the possibility of tying up with Congress to crush communal politics during an informal chat with mediapersons at his residence here.

SP general secretary Ramgopal Yadav, a close aide of Akhilesh, expressed hope of a grand secular alliance to fight elections in the state.

Ramgopal said the final decision regarding forging an alliance with Congress will be taken by Akhilesh, but he expressed hopes that it will happen.

"It is Akhilesh Yadav who will decide on the alliance. But I am hopeful it will happen," said Ramgopal, who has been a staunch supporter of Akhilesh during the intra-party tussle.

Giving enough indications that Congress was willing for such a tie-up, its spokesman and former Union minister RPN Singh was among the first to hail the EC order, saying it showed that Akhilesh enjoyed "90 per cent support" in the organisation as also among SP legislators.

With the poll process set in motion after the issue of notification today, hectic efforts are underway to hammer out such an alliance, with Congress being offered 90 to 100 seats by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, which is also trying to rope in Ajit Singh's RLD as a junior partner.

Congress General Secretary incharge of Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ramgopal Yadav from SP were said to be resolving some disputes over certain seats.

Uttar Pradesh has 403 Assembly constituencies where Akhilesh's party would be contesting the majority of seats and was likely to have RLD as a junior partner in Western Uttar Pradesh, which was once a stronghold of Ajit Singh.

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