India, Politics

UP Polls: Priyanka Gandhi seals SP-Cong alliance

Priyanka Gandhi gains attention after the congress leaders openly lauded her role in clinching alliance with Samajwadi Party for UP Polls.

Priyanka was often spoken of in party circles as managing the back-end operations of brother Rahul’s political office and overseeing affairs in the home boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Priyanka was often spoken of in party circles as managing the back-end operations of brother Rahul’s political office and overseeing affairs in the home boroughs of Amethi and Rae Bareli.

It was Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who put out the all important tweet, “It is wrong to suggest that lightweights were dealing on behalf of Congress party. Discussion was at highest level between CM of UP, general secretary in charge of state affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Priyanka Gandhi.”

Later, Azad also thanked Priyanka, saying she had played an important role.

This is the first time that she has been directly and openly named as the principal factor in a development that was of prime importance to Congress and its first family.

Ironically, talks between top Congress and SP leaders had been going on for the last several days for but an announcement got delayed as the two parties refused to scale down their demand for the number of seats each would contest.

Prospects of forming of an alliance between Samajwadi Party and Congress for the Uttar Pradesh polls had run into rough weather, with both parties hardening their stance over the number of seats.

At one stage senior SP leader Naresh Agarwal had said the possibility of an alliance was almost over and blamed the stubborn attitude of Congress for the deadlock.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had initially offered 100 seats to Congress but they demanded 120.

Samajwadi Party then argued that it had 234 sitting legislators and there were some others who would also contest.

Putting speculations at rest, on Sunday evening both parties in joint press conference announced alliance for UP Polls.

As per alliance, Samajwadi Party will contest 298 candidates, while the Congress will contest for 105 seats.

“SP and Congress have forged an alliance and will contest UP assembly polls together,” SP state president Naresh Uttam said.

UP PCC chief Raj Babbar hoped the SP-Congress alliance will reap a bumper electoral harvest in the state and fulfil aspirations of all sections of the society.

He said a Common Minimum Programme will be drafted within a week.

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