Rebel Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav, who recently introduced the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohia), on Wednesday said that he was willing to join hands with the Congress to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections due by May. Being asked about the possibility of an alliance for the general elections next year, Yadav said, "The party has decided to contest all the seats to defeat the BJP in Uttar Pradesh", adding that they "can also enter into an alliance with the Congress".
Shivpal, the estranged uncle of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav further stressed that all those talking about forming a morcha to defeat the BJP should also talk to his party which was ready to deliberate on the issue.
On the controversy over Lord Hanuman, the rebel leader said, "He is a God and those who are out to confine him to a particular caste have a very narrow mindset". Yadav also opined that Ram temple should not come upon the land which was under dispute.
"Lot of lands is lying around River Saryu...if the temple is built there, I am also ready to contribute to it," Shivpal said, adding that the Supreme Court's verdict in the matter should not be defied. Yadav was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a programme in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in a big blow to Rahul Gandhi's Grand Alliance dream, on Wednesday announced a Congress-less alliance ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. "The Congress has cleared our way by not including our MLA," Yadav told reporters.
The crucial political development came at a time when BSP chief Mayawati has also announced that her party will go solo in Madhya Pradesh during Lok Sabha elections next year. The Samajwadi Party is currently in talks with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in Uttar Pradesh to forge an anti-BJP alliance.
(With inputs from agencies)