Alliances, manifestos, candidates—busy day in UP politics

On a day of hectic political activity in Uttar Pradesh, SP and Congress announced an alliance, the SP chief released his manifesto and sparred with the BSP chief, and BJP announced more candidates

Photo by Nand Kumar/PTI
Photo by Nand Kumar/PTI


The big news of the day out of a very busy day of political activity in Uttar Pradesh was that Samajwadi Party and Congress forged an alliance to jointly contest all the 403 seats in the upcoming assembly elections. The ruling Samajwadi Party will contest 298 of the state's 403 seats, leaving the rest 105 for Congress.

"SP and Congress have forged an alliance and will contest UP assembly polls together," SP state president Naresh Uttam told a press conference, addressed jointly with UP PCC president Raj Babbar. "The country's secular fabric will become stronger when Akhilesh Yadav becomes the chief minister again," said Uttam.

PCC chief Babbar said Congress has accepted SP's offer of 105 seats keeping in mind the prevailing situation in the country and also the atmosphere in the state. "Keeping these factors in mind, Congress leadership agreed to strike an alliance to thwart BJP's divisive politics and at the same time to boost secularism and promote communal and social harmony”.

The alliance seems to placing special emphasis on appealing to people at large— particularly youth and women—for support and not to particular castes and communities, as reported earlier on Sunday by National Herald. The joint statement released by both parties said that under the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi: “The alliance of the SP and the INC will seek a mandate that enables a life of physical safety, economic security and social dignity for every citizen of Uttar Pradesh, irrespective of his or her caste or religion. It will invest its energies in the empowerment of the youth and women of Uttar Pradesh particularly, in order to provide greater opportunities and avenues for them to fulfil their aspirations.”

In a sign of greater opposition unity, All India Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee promptly extended her "full support" to the Samajwadi Party and Congress alliance, right after the press conference.

SP and BSP chiefs spar

Earlier in the day, Samajwadi National President Akhilesh Yadav released SP’s manifesto in Lucknow, promising a number of schemes including distribution of laptops, more expressways, more metro rail services in several of UP’s big cities, establishing model villages besides and improving helplines for women in distress, among other things. Significantly, party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav skipped the function.

Akhilesh Yadav took potshots at the previous BSP government in the state, saying that "Previous 'patthar wali sarkar' has done nothing for UP except erecting stone statues of elephants," and received a quick retort from Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati. "By mentioning our symbol elephant, Akhilesh has given free publicity and our party is grateful for this," said Mayawati, dubbing the SP manifesto as "mere formality and publicity gimmick".

BJP announces more candidates for UP

The Bharatiya Janata Party today released its second list of 155 candidates for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Prominent names in the list released by the party’s National General Secretary Arun Singh included Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, who will contest from Noida. Mriganka Singh, daughter of BJP Kairana MP Hukum Singh will contest from Kairana. Ashutosh Tandon ‘Gopal’, son of BJP Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon, is the candidate for Lucknow East.

With inputs from NH Web Desk.

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