If the reports are to be believed, the Samajwadi Party (SP) is not keen to join hands with the Congress in next year’s general elections and has hinted that they will offer only two seats – Rai Bareli and Amethi – to the grand old party.
"As a tradition, SP has not fielded any candidates against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli so far. There is no reason why we will break this tradition,” TOI quoted Udaiveer Singh, SP MLC and a close aide of Akhilesh as saying.
The SP forged an alliance with Congress in 2017 for Assembly elections and gave the party 110 seats but it could win only seven. While Akhilesh is keen to join hands with Mayawati’s BSP, he will tread warily for a tie-up with the Congress in 2019, sources said.
The rift in the Akhilesh-Rahul bonhomie was also seen recently when no SP leader attended the Iftar party hosted by the Congress in New Delhi last week.
The SP chief had already announced that his party will contest on all 230 seats in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. The party has not made it clear that it will contest on all five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand in the upcoming general elections.
This comes a day after Mayawati’s BSP denied reports of any pre-poll alliance with the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, where elections were slated to be held in November or December 2018.