Rahul, Akhilesh join forces to conquer UP

Rahul, Akhilesh join forces to conquer UP
Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday termed their alliance the “sangam (confluence) of the Ganga and Yamuna”. The alliance hopes to bring development in the state. The two leaders also hinted that this alliance could extend to the bigger battle in 2019 to defeat the “divisive politics” pursued by the BJP.

At a joint press conference, Rahul and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh admitted that differences between the two parties on the issue of seats to be contested still persist. But this will be resolved through mutual discussions, they said. Both the leaders evaded direct replies to questions pertaining to their attacks on each other in the past.

Rahul, who chose to skirt questions on his party’s pre-alliance slogans “27 saal, UP behal” (27 years and UP a mess), said he now shares a personal relationship with Akhilesh. “Now, it has also become a political relationship,” he said, adding. “Ye dil ka alliance hai (it is an alliance of hearts).”  “As it happens in every negotiation, there was posturing, but that does not mean we were angry,” he said.

“Akhilesh’s intention is noble... he wants to change Uttar Pradesh,” the Congress scion remarked. Akhilesh said the ‘cycle’ (SP’s poll symbol) would run faster with the help of the ‘hand’ (the Congress symbol). “This alliance has sent out a message to the whole country... the road to occupy the top post (prime minister) goes from Uttar Pradesh... we will win more than 300 seats,” he said.

Akhilesh, however, remained evasive when asked if he was ready to endorse Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and instead said they are focusing only on the immediate battle.

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