Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said that the Congress should clarify whether the alliance and seat-sharing among the INDIA bloc partners is applicable to the state or the national level, The Indian Express reported.
This comes amid the Samajwadi Party and the Congress – both constituents of the Opposition INDIA alliance – struggling to reach a seat-sharing agreement for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. The state will vote on November 17.
“The Congress will have to clarify about the INDIA block,” Yadav said in Kanpur on Tuesday. “If it is on the national level. If it is not on the state level, then in the future, it will not happen on the state level. I can’t say anything on this because the Congress should clarify on this.”
He added, “The [seat-sharing] discussion stretched till 1 am. It didn’t work out so it didn’t work out”.
On Sunday, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Sunil Singh Yadav announced that the party will fight the Madhya Pradesh polls as part of the INDIA bloc to ensure there was no division of the non-Bharatiya Janata Party votes.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party succeeds only when there is division,” The Hindu quoted Sunil Singh Yadav as saying. “Our leaders are in touch with [the Congress] and things have been sorted out with regards to seat sharing.”
However, a day later, Samajwadi Party state unit chief Ramayan Singh Patel said that “all possibilities of an alliance with the Congress are over”, The Indian Express reported.
“We had some talk with the Congress leadership, but it all fell through on Sunday,” Patel said. “We will contest seats on our own and will do well in the [Lok Sabha] elections next year.”
On Sunday, the Congress announced candidates for four of the seven seats where the Samajwadi Party had already declared its candidates.
On Tuesday, however, Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit chief Kamal Nath said that while negotiations with the Samajwadi Party and the Aam Aadmi Party are still on, the Opposition alliance is primarily at the national level.
“If it works out [in Madhya Pradesh] then great, but if it does not, its focus is on the Lok Sabha election,” Nath told reporters.