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Business News/ Politics / News/  How Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's phone call to Akhilesh Yadav broke UP seat-sharing deadlock
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How Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's phone call to Akhilesh Yadav broke UP seat-sharing deadlock

Congress had agreed to contest 17 seats earlier too but it had some particular seats in mind. The grand old party was not sure about the seats offered earlier by the SP and, instead, wanted winnable seats.

(File) Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addresses the gathering during a public meeting ahead of the upcoming state Assembly election, in Jhunjhunu district, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
(File) Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addresses the gathering during a public meeting ahead of the upcoming state Assembly election, in Jhunjhunu district, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has finally agreed on a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress party on contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in alliance under the INDIA bloc. 

A formal announcement to this effect was made by Congress party's Uttar Pradesh in-charge Avinash Pande in Lucknow on February 21, hours after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav hinted at a possibility of an agreement

"I am delighted to tell you that it has been decided that in Uttar Pradesh the INC will contest on 17 seats and the remaining 63 seats will have candidates of INDIA Alliance, including Samajwadi Party, among others" Pande said without divulging into details about the seats. 

Amid a deadlock over the seat-sharing arrangement, Akhilesh Yadav had said earlier that he would join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in UP only if its seat-sharing proposal for the polls was accepted. Yadav did not join the yatra in Raebareli on February 20.

On February 21, a smiling Yadav, however, told media in Moradbad that “all is well that ends well."

Priyanka Gandhi's call

 

Sources said Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra spoke with Akhilesh Yadav over phone on the morning of February 21 to break the deadlock.

While the Congress had agreed to contest 17 seats earlier too but it had some particular seats in mind. The party thought that it could not win the seats offered earlier by the SP and, instead, wanted seats which had more winnability for the grand old party. 

Due to delay in seat-sharing arrangement, the SP had announced names of candidates for at least 35 seats including Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But now, after Priyanka's phone call to Akhilesh, the Congress is likely to get seats including Varanasi, Sitapur, Barabanki, Kanpur, Saharanpur, Amroha, Fatehpur Sikri and Jhansi, among others.

 

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has not contested election before, is likely to fight Lok Sabha polls from Rae Bareli, the seat earlier held by her mother Sonia Gandhi. Sonia has shifted to Rajya Sabha now. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was Congress' general secretary in charge in Uttar Pradesh, only to be replaced by Avinash Pande after the Congress drubbing in 2022 UP Assembly polls won by the BJP. 

Crucial Uttar Pradesh

 

Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 seats to the Lok Sabha is considered the most crucial state in general elections scheduled to be held in two months. The SP and the Congress are partners in the INDIA bloc, formed by opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general election.

Sources said Akhilesh Yadav, who has stayed away from Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra could join in yatra in Agra. The Congress and Samajwadi Party had contested the 2017 UP Assembly polls in alliance and Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav were famously referred to as ‘UP Ke Bhaiyya’ (Brother's from UP) during the poll campaign. The BJP won the election bagging 312 seats in the 403-member assembly. The SP got 47 seats and the Congress got just seven.

(With inputs from agencies) 

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 06:10 PM IST
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