Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj party chief Mayawati have called a joint press conference in Lucknow on Saturday where they are expected to make a formal announcement of their alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. Yadav is likely to call on Mayawati on Friday.

The senior leadership of both parties recently met in New Delhi to discuss details about the alliance that is expected to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary on January 5 had said that both parties had agreed “in-principle” to an alliance and it would be announced later in the month. Yadav had in September announced that he was ready to form an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh in order to defeat the BJP.

Smaller outfits like the Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Nishad Party may also be part of the alliance. However, the Rashtriya Lok Dal has not yet been invited to Saturday’s press conference, PTI reported quoting Masood Ahmed, the party’s president for Uttar Pradesh. Ahmed said the party’s national vice president Jayant Chaudhary will be in Lucknow on Saturday, and could attend the press conference if invited. The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance could grant the Rashtriya Lok Dal two to three seats, unidentified leaders told PTI.

On Wednesday, Jayant Chaudhary met Yadav in Lucknow, but the details of the meeting were not made public. “We have discussed about present politics and future course of action and also about BJP’s failures,” Jayant Chaudhary told reporters.

However, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party has reportedly decided not to field candidates in Amethi and Raebareli, the seats held by Congress President Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi.

While both parties appear to have ignored the Congress, Gandhi appears to be confident of his party’s ability to go it alone in Uttar Pradesh. In an interview to the Gulf News on January 8, he claimed that the Congress has the ability to surprise people in the state and to underestimate it would be a “big mistake”.