Ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday ruled out an alliance with any other political party. With the announcement, Yadav put to rest any rumours of a tie-up with the Congress or a grand alliance, like the one in Bihar.

The SP chief also announced candidates contesting for 325 of the 403 seats and said the remaining 78 would be named soon. He hinted that the Assembly elections may be held before February 28.

He said that out of the 325 seats, 176 have been handed out to the sitting MLAs. On December 26, there were reports that Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, allegedly unhappy with the candidates fielded by the party, had submitted his own list of candidates to Mulayam Singh. Addressing the press conference on Wednesday, Mulayam Singh said, “So many people, including Akhilesh, have given me their suggested names. I have adjusted as many as I could, however the final list is my choice.”

He said the candidates have been selected democratically by the party, based on their chances of winning the elections. “We do not announce the chief ministerial candidate before the elections,” he added.

The 77-year-old SP chief also said his son Akhilesh Yadav was free to decide the constituency he wants to contest from. State party chief Shivpal Yadav will contest from Jaswant Nagar.

At the press conference, Mulayam Singh also took on the Centre and also said voters would give a befitting reply to the Bharatiya Janata Party following their demonetisation move. He accused BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not fulfilling the promises they made. The BJP had said everyone will get Rs 15 lakh, but has anyone got it yet, asked the SP Chief.

On December 10, the SP had announced it would field underworld don-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s brother Sigbatullah Ansari for the Mohammadabad seat. Akhilesh Yadav had disapproved when Ansari’s Quami Ekta Dal had on October 6 merged with the Samajwadi Party. State SP Chief Shivpal Singh Yadav, who is the in charge of ticket distribution, has also fielded former MP Atiq Ahmed from Kanpur Cantonment. Ahmed has over 150 cases pending against him.