Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav attacked the Congress on Wednesday for not giving his Samajwadi Party a ministerial berth in the Madhya Pradesh cabinet. The Congress formed the government in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month with support from the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

“Thanks to the Congress, they did not make our legislator a minister,” Yadav told reporters in New Delhi, NDTV reported. Yadav said that by doing so, the Congress had “cleared the path for Uttar Pradesh”, implying that there could be no alliance between it and the Samajwadi Party for the Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief Shivpal Yadav has said that his party is willing to form an alliance with the Congress to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh. The former Samajwadi Party leader made the comments while in Bareilly on Tuesday night to participate in a programme, PTI reported.

“We have our party’s organisation in 75 districts of the state,” he told reporters when asked about the possibility of alliances for the Lok Sabha elections. “The party has decided to contest all the seats against the defeat the BJP, we can also enter into an alliance with the Congress.”

Taking a jibe at his estranged nephew Akhilesh Yadav, Shivpal Yadav said those who talk about forming a combine to defeat the BJP should also consider the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party.

Asked about the controversy over the caste of Hindu deity Hanuman, Shivpal Yadav said: “He is a God and those who are out to confine him to a particular caste have a very narrow mindset.” He also asserted that the Ram temple should not be built on the disputed site in Ayodhya, but near river Saryu, where a “lot of land is available”.