Akhilesh dials Rahul for b'day wishes

Akhilesh dials Rahul for b'day wishes

Amidst uncertainty over alliance with Congress, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday dialled Rahul Gandhi to greet him on his 48th birthday.

Yadav's call to Gandhi came as the Congress and the SP were engaged in a keen tussle to thrash out a seat sharing formula for the Lok Sabha elections next year as well as the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

The SP and the BSP have already announced the broad contours of their alliance indicating that they were ready to leave only Amethi and Rae Bareli seats for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh.

The queering of the pitch comes as the regional satraps in Uttar Pradesh were eyeing an opportunity to expand their footprint to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where the Congress appeared open for an alliance to defeat the BJP.

Yadav, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, was in the national capital on Tuesday but did not meet Gandhi to greet on his birthday. Instead, he chose to extend birthday greetings over the phone.

The BSP also announced last week that it would contest all the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh and was not in talks with the Congress for an alliance.

Seat sharing 

Congress sources said most of the statements – both from SP and BSP camps – were made by junior leaders as part of efforts to get a better bargain in the seat-sharing deals in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The number of seats SP and BSP would leave for the Congress would also depend on the share the regional outfits get in the political stakes in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

On an average, the BSP has 6% vote share in Madhya Pradesh and could dent the Congress prospects in at least a dozen seats in the state. Similarly, in Rajasthan, BSP has come to the aid of the Congress when it was short of numbers to form the government in 2008.

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