Ending all speculations, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said that his party would enter into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls under the leadership of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Azad further said the details about the same will be decided in the coming days.
Azad’s statement came as his party colleague Sheila Dikshit stated that she would withdraw as the chief ministerial candidate if her party enters into an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the high-stakes polls.
Dikshit said there cannot be two chief ministerial faces in case of an alliance in the politically crucial state.
“Talks are on and the SP-Congress alliance will benefit Uttar Pradesh. I will do what the party high command decides,” she added.
Earlier on Monday, Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said he was hopeful his party will forge an alliance with the Congress for the polls.
Ramgopal, however, said the final decision regarding forging an alliance with the Congress will be taken by the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister.
“It is Akhilesh Yadav who will decide on the alliance, but I am hopeful it will happen,” he said.
In a major setback to Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Election Commission yesterday recognised the faction led by Akhilesh as the Samajwadi Party and allotted it the ‘cycle’ symbol.
Meanwhile, the poll process for assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will begin today with notification for the first phase of voting scheduled on February 11.
73 constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh will vote in this phase.
The filing of nominations for these constituencies will start today and the last date for the same will be January 24.
The withdrawal of candidature could be done till January 27 and polling will be on February 11.
The districts going to polls in the first phase are Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Agra, Firozabad, Etah and Kasganj.
Uttar Pradesh will have seven-phase polling between February 11 and March 8.
The term of the present government will end on May 27.