As Uttar Pradesh headed towards a hung assembly, Samajwadi Party on Tuesday said it was too early to say whether it would approach Congress for support in the formation of the next government.
"It all depends upon what numbers we get... It is too early to say anything," was the refrain of SP leader Akhilesh Yadav when asked whether his party would align with Congress after having emerged the single largest party in the politically crucial state.
At the same time, he doubted whether Congress, leading the coalition at the Centre, will impose President's Rule in UP in the wake of a hung vedict.
"I doubt they will go for President's Rule... but if that happens, we'll certainly oppose it," he said.
Akhilesh, who led the SP campaign, declared that he was "not in the race" for the chiefministership and the post will go to "Netaji" - his father Mulayam Singh Yadav - as he was the "popular choice" of the party cadre.
"I am not in the race for chief minister's post," Akhilesh Yadav told a television channel.
"The party feels that the responsibility should go to Netaji," he said, referring to party leader and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Akhilesh Yadav voiced confidence that the Samajwadi Party would be able to form a government in Uttar Pradesh despite marginally falling short of the halfway mark in the 403-member house.
He also declined to take credit for the victory, saying the entire party structure worked to rebuild the Samajwadi Party after its disastrous showing of 2007 when it won only 97 seats.
Yadav junior declined to say anything about Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi but was critical of outgoing chief minister Mayawati, saying she had squandered away the huge mandate she got five years ago.
"If only she had spent all the money she spent on erecting statues on the state's development, it would have been good," he said.
He steered clear of questions as to what advice he had for Rahul Gandhi who spearheaded the Congress campaign.
While refusing to comment on the rule of BSP supremo Mayawati, he said the money spent on parks and memorials could have been better spent on development of the state.
SP is leading in 196 seats in Uttar Pradesh but is still short of the majority magic figure to form the government in the 403-member House.
The party needs a figure of 202 seats in the House to form the government.
BSP, which won majority in the 2007 assembly polls with 206 seats, is leading in 97 seats while the Congress-RLD combine is leading in 51 and BJP in 49. Others are ahead in 11.