Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday called the tie-up between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress a “people’s alliance”. At a joint news meet in Lucknow, the two leaders said they had formed their alliance for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly election to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh from spreading the “politics of anger”, ANI reported.

Yadav criticised the Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and added, “This alliance will answer those who made the nation stand in queues.” He said the country had not seen any acche dindespite Prime Minister Narendra Modi making it a key promise during his 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign.

Gandhi, on the other hand, said that their alliance would promote “progress, prosperity and peace” and would fight against “fascist forces”. However, the Congress scion refused to elaborate on the alliance’s strategy and did not say whether party veterans Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav would go for campaigns. He also refused to answer questions on the possibility of an alliance between the Congress and the SP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

This was the first joint press meet by the two leaders since the Samajwadi Party and the Congress announced an alliance for the state elections. The two leaders will hold a roadshow in Lucknow later on Sunday and will also conduct joint election rallies across the state, according to NDTV.

However, reports that the tie-up had hit a rough patch were doing the rounds after the Samajwadi Party declared candidates for seven Assembly seats that the Congress currently holds. While the SP, which is the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh, offered 100 seats, the Congress has demanded at least 120. All the 403 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases from February 11.