Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav to hold joint press conference on Sunday


In the first joint appearance after cementing pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will jointly address a press conference in Lucknow on Sunday, to remove confusion in the minds of voters on the tie-up.

This is for the first time that Congress and Samajwadi Party were having an alliance to win over 300 of the 403 Assembly seats.

Photo: Hindustan Times

“The time and venue of the media interaction is yet to be finalised,” a senior SP leader told PTI today.

Sources in both the parties said their joint appearance before the media would galvanise the two parties and help in reaping a bumper electoral harvest.

They said the two top leaders were previously expected to make a joint announcement about the alliance on January 22, but later state chiefs of the two parties, Raj Babbar (Congress) and Naresh Uttam (SP) announced the deal jointly.

Insiders say joint rallies were also being planned by the two parties at a later stage.

Asked if there would be any joint declaration by them, the SP leader said, whatever the two leaders will speak would be considered as joint statement.

To a question regarding resentment among SP leaders over certain seats in Congress citadel of Amethi and Rae Bareli, he SP everything would be resolved by Sunday.

Under the seat-sharing pact arrived at after hectic parleys between the two sides, SP gave 105 seats for Congress.

The two parties were haggling over some seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the parliamentary turf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul. Congress is in no mood to give up its claim over all the ten seats in Amethi and Rae Bareli.

Sources said the party was perturbed as none of the five candidates, declared by SP earlier, has been withdrawn.

Though both sides were more or less agreeable to a broad understanding that Congress will get 6 and SP 4 seats, local leaders and workers are not ready to give up either Amethi or Gauriganj Assembly seats from where SP has already announced its candidates.

After the alliance, Akhilesh shared stage with a Congress leader in Lakhimpur Kheri district on Wednesday marking their first joint campaign after announcing the alliance.

He was effusive in his praise for the partnership, calling it a “winning combination” and that there was no doubt it would go on to form the next government with a majority.

“The cycle (SP symbol) was alone, but now with the help of the hand (Congress symbol), its speed has increased,” he had said, sharing the stage for the first time with Congress leader Prem Prakash Agarwal, who will contest from Bareilly.

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