New Delhi, Jan 6: On Wednesday, the Congress' chief ministerial candidate, Sheila Dixit, announced that Akhilesh Yadav would make a better chief minister than her. The writing was on the wall that the Congress was signaling an alliance with the Samajwadi Party to contest the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
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A meeting between Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi has now been fixed and discussions on an alliance are on the cards. Sources say that the meeting has been scheduled for January 9 and the two leaders would discuss an alliance and how to take the same forward.
Akhilesh has in the past several times spoken about his admiration for Rahul Gandhi. The Congress too has indicated that it would go with the Akhilesh faction of the feud hit SP.
The Congress is likely to ask for at least 90 to 100 seats. The Akhilesh faction of the SP is likely to give into that demand. Both the SP and the Congress realise that they would need to fight together in order to wade of the BJP threat.
More importantly both parties would look to consolidate the Muslim vote in a bid to hit the Mayawati led BSP.
The Congress has not made any official announcement regarding a meeting, leave alone an alliance. The party has only said that secular parties are under pressure and must come together to defeat the BJP.
For the Congress however this alliance is crucial as the party has not made any major mark in Uttar Pradesh as yet. Riding the SP's Cycle would be key to the Congress, political observers say.