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Congress-SP alliance formed for UP polls

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS): The Congress party on Tuesday said it will contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party.

"The Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance will form the next government in Uttar Pradesh," senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here, a day after the Election Commission allotted the cycle symbol to the Akhilesh faction.

Azad said the nitty-gritties of the alliance, particularly seat sharing, was being worked out.

Asked if the alliance would include the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and whether it would be on the lines of the Bihar-style Grand Alliance, Azad declined to comment.

"On that (Grand Alliance) I cannot say anything right now. Will talk about that later," he said. "There has been speculation on whether or not this alliance is happening or not. This is to confirm that it is happening," he said.

Meanwhile, Congress chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh, Sheila Dikshit reiterated she would step down if asked to. "I have said this earlier too (Monday), there can't be two chief ministerial faces, so I will step down," she said.

Alliance talks between the Congress and Akhilesh faction have been going on for some days, for the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections that kick off on February 11 for 403 seats.

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