Akhilesh Yadav’s meeting with AAP’s Sanjay Singh triggers alliance murmurs
- Akhilesh Yadav, former UP CM, met Aam Admi Party leader Sanjay Singh Wednesday
- The Samajwadi Party has said that it does not seek an alliance with a larger political party in the Assembly polls
- The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are expected to be held early next year
Akhilesh Yadav, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief, met Aam Admi Party’s Sanjay Singh in Lucknow on Wednesday triggering speculations about a potential alliance between the two in the upcoming assembly elections. The Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls are scheduled to take place early next year and the 403-seat legislative assembly, India’s largest, serves as a bellwether for national politics as a whole.
The Akhilesh Yadav-Sanjay Singh meet may prove crucial in the upcoming polls as the SP and Congress have decided against a pre-poll alliance in the UP elections. 48-year-old Akhilesh Yadav is the son of long-time UP leader and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The Samajwadi Party believes Akhilesh Yadav is the principal challenger to the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in power in the state. The Congress, a one-time ally of the SP, however, wants to project Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a challenger in the state.
Akhilesh Yadav has already made it clear that the SP does not seek partnership with a bigger party in Uttar Pradesh. Thus, SP will be looking to ally with smaller parties in the state. For AAP, which is in power in the national capital, any opportunity to make inroads into India’s largest state will help the party boost its national profile.
For Samajwadi Party to go it alone in the Assembly polls is a clear departure from its earlier strategy. In the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections, the SP allied with the Congress. In 2019, a rag-tag coalition of long-time rivals SP and BSP contested the Lok Sabha polls together. Both times, BJP swept the elections.
The change in strategy seems to be a learning from experience of the past two polls. Samajwadi Party’s focus seems to be on reinvigorating its own supporters instead of rallying a big Opposition alliance. Following the meeting between Akhilesh Yadav and AAP leader Sanjay Singh, AAP sources told NDTV that the meeting was organised for a common platform against the BJP.