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UP: Samajwadi Party Announces 11 Seats for Congress; Signs of Discontent Emerge

The state leadership of the Congress party expressed displeasure over Akhilesh Yadav's proposal of giving 11 seats to the grand old party.

Image courtesy: PTI

Lucknow: Months after the tussle, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and alliance partner Congress on Saturday sealed the deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, setting aside 11 seats for the grand old party.

"Our cordial alliance with Congress is off to a good start with 11 strong seats. This trend will move forward with the winning equation. The ‘India’ team and the ‘PDA’ strategy will change history," Akhilesh Yadav posted on X.

Akhilesh Yadav has repeatedly maintained that his party will offer a respectable number of seats to Congress, insisting that SP has never adopted a rigid approach towards seat-sharing with alliance partners.

However, Congress is seemingly not satisfied with the decision. The party’s state leadership expressed displeasure over Akhilesh Yadav's proposal of giving 11 seats to the grand old party. The top Congress leadership from the state has said that this was Akhilesh Yadav's “unilateral” decision with which it does not agree.

Reacting to Akhilesh's tweet, UP Congress president Ajay Rai told reporters, "As Akhilesh Yadav said, the seat-sharing talks are off to a good start. The committee formed under the leadership of Mukul Wasnik is taking a decision on this tweet by Akhilesh Yadav. The discussions are going on in a very positive and very good environment, and the result is going to be out soon, which will be positive."

The two parties held several rounds of negotiations where Congress is learned to have expressed its inclination to contest 20 seats in UP. However, the SP chief has said his party will not “ask” for seats from the alliance but “give seats” to its partners. Yadav said that SP had entered into an alliance earlier as well and had always adopted a “big-hearted” approach. He said the party had never shied away from “sacrifices” when it came to seat-sharing.

Yadav, who is pushing the PDA or ‘Pichda Dalit Alpsankhyak’ narrative of uniting backward castes, said that the INDIA alliance and the ‘PDA’ strategy will change history. INDIA is the acronym for the 28-member opposition bloc that includes the SP, the Congress, the TMC, the DMK, and the AAP. ‘PDA’ stands for ‘People’s Development Agenda’, which is the common minimum programme of the alliance."

Commenting on the development, Kubul Qureshi, a senior journalist who has been covering Uttar Pradesh politics, told NewsClick, "Unless the Bahujan Samaj Party comes into the alliance, this alliance has no importance in Uttar Pradesh. The political parties should understand that the inauguration of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya will play a big role in the political arena for the Lok Sabha polls. There are only 20 seats where the alliance can defeat BJP or is in a position to challenge it."

According to Qureshi, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Bijnor, Kairana, Nagina, Meerut, Firozabad, Mainpuri, Sambhal, Badaun, Hathras, Shravasti, Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Balrampur, Amethi, Raibareilly, Pratapgarh are Lok Sabha seats where INDIA block can defeat or challenge the saffron party, but they don't have a strategy.

"Looking at the current situation, the alliance seems to be potentially winning only two seats - Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor, and that too if Jat votes are above 60%. But this community will not vote. At present, only Muslim voters are with the alliance and unless dalits and non-Yadav join them, the path of alliance is not easy in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party along with the alliance should work to bring Mayawati into its fold instead of sharing seats. The reason is, Yadav has become a core voter of BJP and other backward communities will not accept Akhilesh until BSP joins INDIA bloc."

Giving an example of the 2022 Assembly Polls, Qureshi further added, "Kannauj, Etawah, Mainpuri, and Badaun where Yadav voters have a sizeable number shifted towards BJP in both 2019 Lok Sabha and 2022 Assembly polls. Besides, the most backward voter was never Yadav's voter, but with the weakening of BSP, it has shifted towards BJP and became core voters of the saffron party. These voters did not come to SP because Yadav did not give them due respect what they got from BSP chief Mayawati instead there was always conflict between them which Akhilesh never tried to rectify."


Last week, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) sealed their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The two parties agreed on the number of seats to be shared but have not disclosed the names yet.

The clinching of this alliance in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh marks the first breakthrough in seat sharing between two constituents of the INDIA Bloc since its formation in July 2023.

While the official announcement has been made regarding the number of seats for the RLD, the parties have not named the seats yet. However, locals and political experts indicated that all the seven seats are in the sugarcane belt of western UP, the RLD’s stronghold including Meerut, Baghpat, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Kairana, Shamli, and Fatehpur Sikri where the Jat and Muslim communities have a sizeable number of voters.

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