Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President Raj Babbar on Monday ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the Samajwadi Party. He said the Congress will contest alone in the upcoming state Assembly elections and talks of any tie-ups were “hypothetical”, reported PTI.

Babbar said his party will release the first list of its candidates by the end of December. “The exercise of candidate selection is on...We have again asked for the prospective candidates list from district presidents,” he added. Babbar’s remark on having no alliance comes after speculation of a Congress-SP tie-up came to the fore. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had said that the two parties together can win more than 300 seats.

The Congress committee president said he was confident that the party will fare better this time because the people of Uttar Pradesh are looking for an alternative. In the last Assembly election in 2012, the Congress had got 29 seats in the 403-member Assembly. “There is anger among people against the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. While the BJP will face the consequences of demonetisation, there is a tussle within the Samajwadi Party and people did not have faith and trust in the BSP,” said Babbar.

Last month, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had said there could only be a “merger” and brushed aside rumours of an alliance. The SP chief’s remarks came after meetings between Congress’ poll strategist Prashant Kishor and Yadav.