The silhouette of a grand alliance appears on the horizon of the Uttar Pradesh politics as Congress strategist Prashant Kishore held an almost two-hour-long meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at his official residence, which insiders say, delved into the “need to have pact among like-minded parties”.
Prashant Kishore or PK reached the CM’s residence at 2 pm and left at 4.07 pm without speaking to the media.
Sources say it was one-to-one meeting in which PK explained why the Congress and the Samajwadi Party should contest the election as partners along with other like-minded parties.
Yadav had already thrown enough hints to suggest that something is cooking when he told a group of journalists that if the Congress and Samajwadi Party want to forge an alliance, can anyone stop them.
“Who can stop us if both the parties decide to join hands,” the Chief Minister said. He did not elaborate but 15 minutes later, he had a marathon meeting with PK.
This meeting assumes importance because earlier the Chief Minister had refused to meet PK. He was against this proposal because the Chief Minister was told that Amar Singh was behind brokering this pact. Last week, PK had a long meeting with Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in Amar Singh’s Delhi residence.
On Friday – a day after SP’s silver jubilee foundation day function – PK had another round of meeting with Mulayam in Lucknow. He had a separate meeting with Shivpal Singh Yadav. Despite so much happening in the party, Akhilesh had refused to meet PK for the last two days.
On Monday, when Akhilesh had detailed meeting with PK, they had threadbare discussions on the need to have an alliance and how to get going with an election campaign. A senior Samajwadi Party leader told Narada News that the Chief Minister has not categorically given any assurance about the alliance but has said that he would discuss the issue with the party’s national president and then get back.
Incidentally, Akhilesh Yadav has always been against any electoral pact. Three months back when Shivpal Singh Yadav had inked a pack with Quami Ekta Dal, he revolted and said: “If we can strengthen our booths, we can win the election hands down. There is no need to have any alliance.”
Much water has flown down the river Gomti since the CM had made this statement in Jaunpur. On Monday, however, he said that he has asked Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) to consider all options and possible outcome of the alliance. We have to assess who will benefit from the alliance. It is up to party president Mulayam Singh Yadav to decide on the grand alliance issue. Whatever I have to say, I will discuss in the party forum,” he said.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav dashed to New Delhi this evening fueling speculation about further talks on the grand alliance. Party sources said that he could hold talks with senior Congress leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi or party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi.