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Akhilesh Yadav rules out alliance with Congress for 2019 elections

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    The Samajwadi Party on Tuesday said it had not decided on an alliance with the Congress party for the 2019 general elections as of now.

    Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav during a road show in Lucknow. PTI file photo

    Akhilesh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party chief ruled out an alliance with the Congress party for the 2019 election, for now, and said his only priority at the time was to strengthen his own party.

    Terming the process of talks and seat negotiations a waste of time, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who had tied up with the Congress for the assembly elections in 2017, ruled out alliances "as of now".

    "The 2019 election is certainly crucial as the message from Uttar Pradesh will go out to the entire country. As of now, I am not thinking of an alliance with any party. It (alliance talks and seat negotiations) wastes a lot of time and I don't want to be in confusion (over seats)," Yadav said. Yadav said he was working on strengthening the party's vote bank.

    Suggesting that the party could bargain at a later stage if an alliance materialises, he said his style of politics is different and he is open to "friendships" with like-minded parties. However, his priority at present was to strengthen the organisation of the party.

    Yadav also announced that the SP would contest the Lok Sabha polls where its organisation was strong. "We have a strong organisational base in Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. We are also working in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan," he said. Discussing the defeat of his party in the 2017 assembly polls despite claims of good development, Yadav said the BJP had succeeded in fooling the people.

    "It was not our vote bank but that of the Bahujan Samaj Party that shifted... The people still remember my regime and are now realising their mistake," he said. He added that the people gave BJP a chance but the party had fulfilled none of its tall promises. "The Yogi Adityanath government has failed... They are just carrying forward our work by putting their plaques," he alleged.

    The former CM said he would be taking out a "rath yatra" across the state to mobilise party workers. "The route and plan is being chalked out. I will be hitting the road again. People have expectations from us as SP is the only party which can stop the BJP," he said.

    The decision was taken after he held a crucial meeting with heads of the districts, along with candidates who lost their elections. According to sources, a large section of the party agreed with Mulayam Singh Yadav that the party did not get any benefit politically from its alliance with the Congress, and hence, should go solo for 2019 polls.

    Most leaders pointed out that an analysis of the recently concluded local body polls showed that an alliance with the Congress yielded no positive results.

    The SP-Congress combine was trounced in the 2017 state elections, with the BJP and its allies winning 325 seats in the 403-member House. While SP got 47 seats, the Congress won seven.

    OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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