The Samajwadi Party on Friday declared candidates for seven Assembly seats that the Congress currently holds, amid rumours that their alliance is facing uncertainty just 20 days ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections. The Congress-held seats where the SP has fielded a candidate are Mathura, Bilaspur, Kidvai Nagar, Khurja, Syana, Kapur, Swar and Shamli.

After seat-sharing talks between the two parties failed, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar called on chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Friday, reported the Hindustan Times. “Alliance should be done taking pride of workers into care,” Babbar has said.

The SP’s national vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda has said that his party was ready to give the Congress a maximum of 85 seats to contest, less than the 103 seats the Congress was aiming for, reported NDTV.

Earlier, the Samajwadi Party had ruled out an alliance with the Rashtriya Lok Dal, which has a base among the Jats of western Uttar Pradesh. They had announced an alliance with the Congress earlier this week, after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was officially awarded his party’s name and symbol by the Election Commission.

Uttar Pradesh holds 403 Assembly seats, which is more than any other Indian state. Polls will be held in seven phases, beginning on February 11.