'Our doors open...' Akhilesh Yadav hints at alliance for 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls
As political parties in Uttar Pradesh gear up for the 2022 assembly elections, which are likely to take place early year, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday extended an invitation to small regional parties for an alliance, remarking that SP's doors are open "for all small parties."
"Doors of our party are open for all small parties. Many smaller parties are already with us. More parties will come with us," Yadav told news agency PTI in an interview. On a possible alliance with his uncle Shivpal's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party, Yadav said his party would try to unite everyone against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The former UP chief minister further said there have been no talks with the Bhagidari Sanklap Morcha, a coalition of parties led by Om Prakash Rajbhar's Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party.
Yadav also asked the other two main Opposition parties in the state, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress, to decide whether they are with the BJP or SP. The two parties have attacked the SP over various issues. Incidentally, the SP had formed an alliance with the Congress for the 2017 assembly elections, and with the BSP for the 2019 general elections. However, both the elections were swept by the BJP.
On his projections for the upcoming assembly polls, he said the SP would win 350 seats, calling the figure "realistic." Yadav said, "Resentment is brewing among the people and they are waiting for a chance to uproot the BJP from the state. With the development work done during our term, people have realised they were fooled in 2017 and made a mistake by voting for the BJP." The Yogi Adityanath government, he said, has mishandled every issue, be it the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic or farmers' protests.
Yadav described youth, development and welfare of all sections of the society as the primary election issues for his party.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP came to power by winning more than 300 seats in the 403-member assembly. Meanwhile, the SP won just 47 seats, as against 224 in the 2012 polls.