Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) chief Mayawati have called a joint press conference in Lucknow on Saturday where they are expected to formally announce their alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.National secretary of SP, Rajendra Chaudhary as well as BSP’s, Satish Chandra Mishra issued a statement today about the joint press conference.“Yes, what else could the joint press conference will be about since the alliance has been in works since March last year,” said an SP leader when asked about the event.The two parties first publically spoke about the alliance in March last year and then experimented with it in three Lok Sabha bypolls and one state assembly bypolls. The BJP lost all those seats to the alliance. The SP-BSP alliance can be a formidable opposition to the BJP which won 71 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014.Akhilesh is also likely to call on Mayawati on Friday. The two leaders, in a recent meeting in Delhi, discussed the modalities of seat sharing for the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, according to sourcesThe talks, sources said, did not account for the Congress. It was proposed that both parties will equally distribute between them 78 Lok Sabha seats. They won’t field candidates in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituencies of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, respectively, sources added.Akhilesh and Mayawati have so far ruled out Congress as a partner of the alliance, because the grand old party is looking at contesting more than a dozen seats, which the SP and the BSP are not ready to concede, said another leader familiar with negotiations.When asked to comment, Congress president Rahul Gandhi in an interview to Gulf News said that the party has the ability to surprise people with results in UP. “There are very interesting things that the Congress party can do in Uttar Pradesh... the Congress idea is very powerful for Uttar Pradesh. So, we are very confident of our ability in Uttar Pradesh and we will surprise people,” he said.