With the formal announcement of its pre-poll tie-up with the Samajwadi Party (SP) expected within the next 24-36 hours, the Congress is giving final touches to its list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress has prepared a list of 160 candidates though it is hoping to get 80-90 seats. The idea behind keeping a comprehensive list ready is to ensure that the alliance does not get stuck on the choice of constituencies.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s camp has indicated that it is willing to leave 115 of the total 403 seats for the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Dal of Ajit Singh and the Krishna Patel faction of the Apna Dal.
The Congress appears to be content with the offer, given that its assessment of the poll outcome in case of going solo in the polls is not encouraging.
The alliance is a win-win for the Congress, which has been relegated to the political margins of the state after being ousted from power in 1989.
The modalities of distribution of seats will be thrashed out in the next two-three days, Congress general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said.
Initially, the Congress had sought 120-130 seats but scaled down the demand after the SP adopted a tough stance and offered juts 60 seats.
Apart from the 28 constituencies it won in 2012, the Congress had demanded 31 seats on which it came second and the rest from different districts.
However, the SP leadership asked the Congress to spell out a “valid reason” why it should be given more than 60 seats.
The Congress argued that though it could manage to win only 28 seats, its cadre existed in almost all the 75 districts of the country’s most populous and politically important state.