The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have agreed “in-principle” to an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary told PTI. Chaudhary said a formal announcement on the development will be made later in January.

The spokesperson said Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had agreed to an alliance “in-principle” after meeting several times. “Talks are on with other parties too,” the Samajwadi Party official said.

Chaudhary evaded questions about a possible alliance with the Congress. “This will be decided by Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati,” Chaudhary said, adding that the alliance members will not field candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi – the constituencies where Congress president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi contest from.

In October, Yadav had said his party will hold talks with the Bahujan Samaj Party, ANI reported. He had also suggested that there will be no tie-up with the Congress as it “has made us wait for long”.

Yadav had in September announced that he was ready to form an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in order to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.