Cong, SP may not be in tie-up for UP urban local bodies' polls

17 Oct 2017

The electoral alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party might fall apart in Uttar Pradesh with both the parties likely to go it alone in the upcoming urban local bodies' polls in the state.

The two parties had come together ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections earlier this year to stop the saffron surge in the state. "The pre-poll electoral tie-up was for 2017 UP Assembly elections. This does not mean that it continues for the urban local bodies' elections or 2019 Lok Sabha polls," Samajwadi Party spokesperson and MLC Sunil Singh Sajan said. His remarks came against the backdrop of senior Congress leader and the party's general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad recently stating that his party would go it alone in the urban local bodies polls.

"Our party will contest the upcoming urban local bodies polls on its own," he had said at a function in Aligarh on Sunday to mark the birth centenary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Reacting to Azad's comments, Sajan said: "The issues and prevailing situation decide whether to opt for an electoral tie-up or not... We are ready for the urban local bodies' polls." The SP leader said the party's coordination with the Congress was good and in some ways their ideologies also match. "But, this does not necessarily mean that we will opt for an electoral tie-up. We will fight the urban local bodies' polls on our own," the MLC said.

The notification for the local body polls is likely to be issued before the end of this month. In the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections held earlier this year, the Congress contested in 114 of the 403 seats winning only seven, while the Samajwadi Party fielded as many as 311 candidates, and won 47 seats. In over a dozen Assembly seats, both the SP and the Congress were in fray. Expecting that a split in Opposition votes would help the BJP, its spokesperson Dilip Srivastava exuded confidence that his party would register an impressive win in the urban local bodies' polls. "The BJP has started Vikas Parv, which will disseminate information pertaining to various developmental schemes and projects of the Centre in the last three-and-half years," he said.