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Ignored by Mulayam, Congress says it will go it alone in UP polls

The stitching of a pre-poll truck was triggered by a series of meetings between Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor with SP leaders Mulayam Singh, Shivpal Yadav and even CM Akhielsh Yadav in recent weeks.
SP supremo : Mulayam Singh Yadav
Within 24-hours of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s announcement that his outfit would not go for any alliance in the coming Assembly polls, Congress, too, reiterated its earlier stand of going it alone and contesting all 403 Assembly seats in UP.
“There is no need of any alliance and we will contest all the seats,” senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member PL Punia said, putting to rest all rumours of a grand alliance taking shape.
Another Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh said, “On Thursday, a top SP leader said there will be no alliance but any party could merge with the SP. Has one ever seen ocean merging with a river or nullah ? Congress is an ocean.”
The stitching of a pre-poll truck was triggered by a series of meetings between Congress poll strategist Prashant Kishor with SP leaders Mulayam Singh, Shivpal Yadav and even CM Akhielsh Yadav in recent weeks.
There is no question of merger with SP. There was an effort to look for alliance among like-minded parties and it was Samajwadi party state president Shivpal Singh Yadav who approached us first. We just reciprocated. It is a good riddance for us, Sanjay Singh said.
On Thursday, Mulayam Singh dismissed any alliance saying that any party could merge with the SP.  His statement naturally irked Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and JD( U) leaders, who were in talks with the SP top leader on the issue.
Meanwhile, in a bid to regain its support among Dalits, the Congress has planned a major outreach programme which will be started soon. The party is in the process of specifically forming booth -level committees for Scheduled Caste (SC) or Dalits to win their confidence.
The Congress had earlier launched two phases of Bhim Jyoti Yatra aiming to cover every district in the state and strengthening its base in the constituencies.
During a training programme of SC & ST Cell at Lucknow on Friday, chairman of All India Congress SC Cell K Raju and AICC General Secretary Gulam Nabi Azad said that they will form 100 teams in all 80 reserved constituencies across UP which will cover 100 villages a week.
In the next two months, the teams will cover 5,000 villages in each segment so that the lost vote bank of Congress could be regained.
Meanwhile, Congress got a shot in the arm when Kisan Manch Party led by president Shekhar Dikshit merged with the Congress at the state headquarters in Lucknow on Friday afternoon.
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