Akhilesh Yadav Says Will Join Rahul Gandhi's Yatra, Day After Congress And SP Finalise Seat Sharing

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, announced on Thursday afternoon that his party will participate in the Congress' 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra'. This decision comes after both parties reached an agreement on the allocation of Uttar Pradesh's 80 Lok Sabha seats, with a split of 63 seats for the Congress and 17 seats for the Samajwadi Party.

Akhilesh Yadav is expected to join the rally in Agra.

This agreement marks the first significant accord between members of the INDIA bloc, who had previously struggled to agree on seat-sharing terms. The final deal followed a firm offer from the Samajwadi Party, which agreed to surrender only 15 seats to its ally, and confirmed its participation in the Rahul Gandhi-led pan-India yatra.

"We have had several rounds of discussions... exchanged many lists. When seat-sharing is done (then) Samajwadi Party will participate in their yatra," Akhilesh Yadav had said.

The ongoing Congress' yatra, now in its second month, serves as a pivotal rallying point and a crucial test of unity for the opposition. However, it has faced challenges as two prominent political figures, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Bengal counterpart, Mamata Banerjee, declined invitations, highlighting underlying tensions within the bloc.

Mamata Banerjee went as far as to criticize the yatra, accusing the Congress of showing disrespect towards her.

"They are coming to my state... but did not have courtesy to inform me, even though I am part of the INDIA bloc. So there is no relations with me, as far as Bengal is concerned," she told reporters.

Following Nitish Kumar's alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party under the Janata Dal (United) banner, and Mamata Banerjee's firm stance against sharing seats with the Congress or any INDIA party, the optics of a third prominent opposition figure skipping the yatra would have had repercussions for both the Congress and the INDIA bloc. This potential scenario likely influenced the national outfit to reach an agreement with the Samajwadi Party, albeit as a minority partner.

The Congress, facing the risk of losing a third INDIA member, was already dealing with the exit of Jayant Chaudhary's Rashtriya Lok Dal from the alliance in western Uttar Pradesh, as per reports.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the agreement, the alliance has secured a positive outcome for INDIA this week.

The Aam Aadmi Party's victory in the Chandigarh mayoral election, achieved through an alliance with the Congress, along with successful seat-share agreements in Delhi and other states, indicate a positive turn of events for the parties involved.


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