Congress denies "grand alliance" with SP in 2017 Assembly polls

Congress is going to contest the next UP Assembly elections alone.

Lucknow: Snubbing UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's earlier suggestion of a tie-up, Congress on Friday said that the party will contest "alone" in the 2017 Assembly polls.

"Congress is going to contest the next Assembly elections alone and all doubts will be clear after that," a party spokesman, Surendra Rajput, said in a press release here.

"It is difficult to understand as to what purpose the SP wants to serve by repeatedly talking about alliance or grand alliance...They should remember that in 2017, the state is going to Assembly polls and not Lok Sabha polls," he said.

He was referring to UP Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's suggestion earlier in the day about a possible arrangement where Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav becomes the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi the Deputy PM.

"All political parties which are confined to specific states should remember that the recent Bihar polls have proved the reality about the parties of Uttar Pradesh," he said, adding Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a popular leader of the opposition and the issues raised by him have found full support of the people.

Akhilesh had made these comments at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi in the presence of Rahul Gandhi.

However, Rahul, who was seen smiling, refused to comment when asked to respond.

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