Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday appeared not averse to an alliance with Congress for UP Assembly polls, saying such a combine can win over 300 seats in the 403-member House, but firmly ruled out any tie-up with BSP.
Only last month, Samajwadi Party supremo and Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav had ruled out any pre-poll alliance and asserted that there can only be mergers.
Replying to a volley of questions on a possible tie-up with Congress against the backdrop of its poll strategist Prashant Kishor meeting Mulayam and and himself later, the Chief Minister said that a final decision on the alliance will be taken by the SP supremo and he can only give suggestions.
Akhilesh also suggested that Congress will have to accept that it may have to fight on a fewer number of seats than it wants in an alliance because a tie-up will not work out if it keeps thinking about “profit and loss”.
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He also hit back at BSP chief Mayawati, who had recently mocked him for calling her ‘bua’, saying her problem is that BSP is not in contention to capture power and added that he will no longer call her ‘bua’ (father’s sister).
Speaking at the HT Leadership Summit here, Akhilesh (43) attacked the Modi government over demonetization and took potshots at his rivals.
He, however, asserted that the murky infighting that put his uncle Shivpal Yadav against him is behind him and he, “like Arjun is focusing on one goal, which is to form government in the state again”.
It is for Congress, which has projected Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate, to take a final decision on an alliance, he said, adding that Kishor had met him after meeting Mulayam.
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“When there is an alliance, somebody has to accept that he will get fewer number of seats (to contest). If you keep thinking about profit and loss, then it will not work out. We are anyway going to form government again with a majority and if they (Congress) also come along, then we will cross 300,” he said.
Akhilesh said that he conveyed this to Kishor too.
“It (UP polls) is a big battle. If the ally is good, then we can sort out other parties,” the Chief Minister said, though he ruled out any alliance with BSP which, he noted, had formed government with BJP three times earlier and Mayawati “used to tie” Rakhi to some BJP leaders.
Attacking the central government, he said it has made everybody stand in queue and wondered if this was the ‘achchhe din’ for which people had voted for Narendra Modi.
“It has harmed the economy,” he said.