Congress to ally with Shivpal, smaller outfits in UP

Congress to ally with Shivpal, smaller outfits in UP

Nurturing dreams to regain lost grounds in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Congress on Thursday hinted at allying with rebel Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Singh Yadav and some other smaller caste-based outfits in the state.

According to sources in the Congress, a few senior party leaders met Shivpal on Thursday with an offer of four seats to him in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

"We are ready to give four seats to Shivpal Singh Yadav... the seats will be identified later, but they will be in the region, where his outfit can effectively challenge the rivals," said a state Congress leader here.

Shivpal had earlier said that he was not averse to joining hands with the Congress to "defeat" the BJP.

The Congress has also sounded out 'Mahan Dal', a caste-based outfit, which has pockets of influence among some backward castes in the western region. 

Mahan Dal president Keshav Dev Maurya had a meeting with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra here on Wednesday, sources said.

Sources also said that Congress was wooing the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP), which was currently an alliance partner in the BJP government in the state.

SBSP president and UP minister Om Prakash Rajbhar has been sulking over being sidelined for the past several months and has served an ultimatum to the BJP. He also relinquished one of his portfolios on Thursday and threatened to quit the alliance.