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UP election: Samajwadi Party-Congress talks fail, Akhilesh meets Raj Babbar

Congress leaders are meeting in Delhi after the Samajwadi Party snubbed it and announced 191 candidates on all seats in the first three phases of Uttar Pradesh elections.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2017 18:22 IST
M Tariq Khan and Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
M Tariq Khan and Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Samajwadi Party,Congress,UP Elections
A Samajwadi Party worker holds a bicycle representing the party's symbol and a poster of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, outside the party's headquarters in Lucknow.(REUTERS FILE)

Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar called on chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday after the two parties failed to reach a consensus on seat sharing for the upcoming state election.

Talks for a Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance have failed, a senior leader of the Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party said earlier in the day.

The SP also released a list of 191 candidates that included several seats held by the Congress. Later it released another list of 18 candidates.

Akhilesh’s party didn’t even grant Congress seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituencies, which are represented in Parliament by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

An angry Congress summoned an emergency meeting of its senior central and state’s leaders in Delhi and called back Babbar, who had landed in Lucknow to announce an alliance.

But Babbar, who was supposed to leave for the national capital in the afternoon, came back from the Lucknow airport to meet the CM.

No immediate details were available on what was discussed between the two leaders.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had on January 17 announced that his party will fight elections in Uttar Pradesh in alliance with the Samajwadi Party.

But in Lucknow, SP vice-president Kironmoy Nanda said on Friday negotiations with the Congress on seat-sharing had “failed”.

“We offered them 54 (seats) and were willing to concede 25 more but have not got any response from the Congress so far. The Congress is not coming to the negotiating table now,” he said.

The SP has already ruled out an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which was earlier tipped to the third partner in the conglomeration for the seven-phase polls in the politically crucial state.

First Published: Jan 20, 2017 15:40 IST