The Samajwadi Party and Congress will contest Uttar Pradesh assembly polls together. The deal was sealed after SP president Akhilesh Yadav agreed to give 105 seats to the Congress in elections for the 403-member UP assembly.
After days of talks and tough bargain, the Samajwadi Party and Congress finally arrived at a mutually agreeable seat-sharing formula for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
The deal was sealed after Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav agreed to give 105 seats to the Congress, which was bargaining hard to have an honourable escape from its earlier position of contesting the assembly polls alone and naming its chief ministerial candidate in Sheila Dikshit.
The talks had hit rough weather after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, fresh from the victory achieved after bitter infighting in the party, refused to give Congress a three-figure number to field its candidates in the state.
As late as yesterday, the parleys were as good as over with leaders from both parties blaming each other for the failed talks. But, Congress' UP in-charge Gulam Nabi Azad still had hopes, when he said, "You will come to know about the status of alliance by Sunday morning."
Today, the result was there for all to see: the SP and Congress will contest the UP polls together. Akhilesh Yadav conceded a bit and Congress accepted new offer.
Uttar Pradesh goes to the polls in seven phases on February 11, 15, 19, 23, 27, March 4 and 8. The counting of votes will take place on March 11.