SP-Congress announce tie-up for UP polls

After multiple twists and turns, the Congress and Samajwadi Party reached an understanding to contest the assembly polls together. Congress would now contest 105 seats while the SP would fight in 298 seats in the state.

The deal that was showing signs of breaking was rescued by the intervention of senior party leaders, including Ahmed Patel and Ram Gopal Yadav. SP had reached out to the Congress when it was facing crisis with Mulayam Singh Yadav's faction staking a claim on the cycle symbol earlier this month. The deal was being worked upon by both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh's wife is said to have played an important role in facilitating the negotiations.

The initial demand by Congress was 135-140 seats which the SP was mulling over. After scaling down its demands, the one upmanship game was already evident with the Congress refusing to hold the press conference at the SP office as earlier planned. The alliance was announced at the Taj Hotel in Lucknow which saw more supporters of the Congress than the media.

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