Akhilesh warns INDIA ally Congress of consequences after it fails to accommodate SP in Madhya Pradesh

New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav accused its INDIA ally Congress Thursday of reneging on its promise to give his party six seats in the upcoming Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls. An angry Yadav also said his party would now rethink an alliance in Uttar Pradesh for the general elections in 2024.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Yadav said he must have been “confused” if he expected a state-level tie-up in Madhya Pradesh after attending three meetings of the INDIA alliance.

“A former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath, now the Congress state chief) asked us about our performance in the state. We told him how many seats we have won and when, and in which seats we were number two. We had a comprehensive discussion. They woke up SP leaders even at 1 am. They assured us six seats. But when the lists were announced, there were zero seats for the SP,” Yadav said.

Yadav added if he had known there would be no INDIA alliance in the states, then his colleagues would not have met Congress leaders, nor given them a list or even picked up their calls.

The SP chief further said he would now rethink an alliance with the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. “We will see how they behave with us, and return the favour,” he said.

The two key constituents of the INDIA bloc are now facing off in at least 20 seats in Madhya Pradesh which will go to the polls on 17 November.

There has been simmering tension in the past few days between the two, particularly after Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai asked the SP to withdraw from Madhya Pradesh as it “did not have a base” there. The fight in the state, said Rai, had always been between the Congress and BJP, pointing out that the SP won only one seat in 2018 and that its sole MLA in the Madhya Pradesh assembly had later switched to the BJP.

Rai also said the Congress was preparing to contest all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2024, provoking an angry response from Yadav. The Samajwadi boss warned the Congress not to allow its small-time leaders to talk about his party.

Incidentally in last month’s Assembly bypolls, the Congress supported the SP candidate in UP’s Ghosi. SP’s Sudhakar Singh defeated BJP’s OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan by 42,759 votes.

Also read: MP seat-sharing stalemate puts SP-Congress equations to the test, with possible aftershocks in UP