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Uttar Pradesh polls: Akhilesh Yadav hints at alliance with BSP

Lucknow: Even as exit polls pointed towards a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sprung a major surprise when he hinted at an alliance with the BSP if he fell short of numbers.

In an interview with a news outlet, Mr Yadav said that if the SP-Congress fell short of numbers, they would not mind joining hands with BSP in an attempt to keep the BJP out.

“I have always treated BSP president with respect and have referred to her as ‘bua’ but as of now, we are coming back to power on our own,” he said.

Mr Yadav said that President rule would mean a BJP rule by remote and no one would want this.

It may be recalled that in their first joint press conference in Lucknow in January to announce the alliance, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had stated that he had ‘utmost respect’ for Ms Mayawati. Throughout the election campaign, Mr Gandhi chose not to attack the BSP.

Mr Yadav’s statement about the new alliance has created ripples in political circles and the BJP said that this was an indication that the SP had already conceded defeat.

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